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Has anyone ever gotten a 2nd Opinion MRI or XRay .. and came with a different result?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Chronic Pain

My X-Ray showed (in addition to mild scoliosis) only mild facet degenerative at L5/S1. My MRI only showed a mild bulge at L4/L5 and mild facet hypertrophy at L5/S1 (It also said Disc desiccation noted at L4/L5 -- still not quite sure what that means).

Anyway, I was thinking of getting a second MRI just to make absolutely sure of this whole "mild" thing.

Has anyone gotten a 2nd opinion MRI or XRay? And has anyone ever come back with a different diagnosis than the first set?

If you were going to get a 2nd of something -- would you do XRay or MRI? I am thinking MRI.




  • Instead of new images, just get someone else to read them. Image interpretation is an art as well as science. A neurosurgeon will see things differently than a radiologist or a neurologist or a GP. So depending on who did the report, either just wait for your doc to read them personally, or get copies of them and take them to another doc to read.

  • Yes, I totally agree with "C." It is a matter of interpretation...and it matters less what the radiologist thinks. I would take your films to a fellowship-trained spinal specialist and get a diagnosis. Then I would get several opinions from other specialists if there was something about the first consultation that made me uneasy.

    Are you questioning the use of the word "mild" because your pain seems more than could be coming from some problem that is labeled "mild??"
  • Thank you for the replies.

    I do have copies of my XRays, MRI, bone scan right here at home. So I can take them to anyone.

    gwennie17, yeah the word "mild" just makes me uneasy. In another post, someone mentioned that a "mild" disc bulge can cause very bad pain. Well, unless I take ibuprofen regularly, I am in that very bad pain state. One of those pains where you cannot concentrate on anything else but the pain. I am sure everyone here knows exactly what I mean, and then some.

    It just bogles my mind that something that is "mild" can be doing this to my body. You know what I mean?

    Plus, I want to make absolutely sure that I am not doing any nerve damage because of a bad MRI diagnosis.
  • I also agree with Haglandic and Gwennie about getting your current MRI reinterpretated. From what I've been through, once they open up your back during surgery, it looks a lot worse than the findings on an MRI or ct myelogram. My surgeon had no clue from what I know of that my facet joints were really bad. No mention of them were made in the imaging. He had to clean up a bunch of debris during surgery.
  • Take the MRI report and ask for a copy of the MRI films. I've keep copies of mine. Some suergons what that for first visit. Good luck to you. I hope you get some one to explain all that is going on
  • I had CT's, X-rays & MRI's done with contrast and was told by my dr. there was absolutely nothing wrong with my lumbar fusion L4-S1, they told me I was making it up! This is after several trips by ambulance to the ER, PT and seeing a shrink. I finally saw an Ortho surgeon (the first was a neuro) at Ne. Spine (at this point I was using a walker and bent over at the hips like a cavewoman) He took one look at the MRI he did in his office and told me that he knew I was in pain, my fusion had failed badly with no bone growth and 3 screws free floating next to my spine. I needed immediate surgery to fix it. So my advice to you is get a second opinion and get an MRI with contrast.
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