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booked in for mri scan...thought i couldnt have one after tlif??

shazzasshazza Posts: 66
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
i had a tlif fusion with instrumentation back last march, and on seeing my surgeon in december, have been booked in for a scan as ive got issues with neck/shoulder which travels down arm and causes pins needles numbness etc....well the appointment has come for next week, and states on the letter mri scan. this has confused me as i thought with metal in my back i now couldnt have one.

when i looked at the form the surgeon gave me for receptionist at the hospital, the place he had ticked seemed to be between two options, which is making me wonder if its a mistake caused by this, or if i am actually fine to have mri?? thought i would stick to the big magnet or something, please help quick..bit scared now


  • I have metal in my back from a previous fusion,and I just had a 2nd fusion 13 days ago-----I had an MRI---so it is done,but I don't know the details of how it is read---I also had a myelogram and Ct scan as well----someone on here will come up with the answer!don't be scared! those people know what they are doing---but it sure wouldnt hurt calling the surgeon or his nurse to allay your fears-cause that is what they are there for,to help you!keep checking back on here,there are lots of people with lots of answers.I am sorry you are having problems--let us be here for you!
  • thankyou for responding so quickly....ive had ct scans before for other things, and mri but it was just for some reason i got it in my head i couldnt have mri now with metal in my back...visions of me going round and round stuck to the big magnet haha, hope your ok after your second fusion, hoping i wont need another, many hugs
  • oh shazza! you poor thing! it is terrible what our minds do to us! but it is a good question,and I hope someone on here will answer-----I have osteoporosis,and having had 2 spinal fusions,I have a recurring visual of my spine just breaking into--so i move like I am balancing something on my head----I wanted to share that with you because we all have visions of awful things----please keep us posted,and let me know if you want to talk!
  • You can't have an MRI if the metals used inside of you are stainless steel. And the MRI will scan that area.

    Did you notice they don't make you take off your wedding band? Gold, not magnetic. It's ok.

    Spinal surgeries are done with Titanium. Also not magnetic. Otherwise you would set off all the alarms at the airport. You could also never get an MRI again.

    So yes you can do an MRI and it is ok. What they will do though is an MRI with contrast. Since you have metal and will cause some scattering in the image. Contrast will help make a better image.

    CT scans and xrays are just fine also.

  • I'm a little late - but I have had a MRI after my fusion. I had titanium screws - not steel,

    They did have to do an IV contrast to get the picture though. It also took about double the time in the MRI machine.

    I mostly slept through it. It was the day after my surgery and they were trying to find the reason my leg was going numb. This was after they had also just done an inconclusive CT scan. Both of these tests were middle of the night emergencies. at least I was too out of it to notice a whole lot.

    Good luck on getting your MRI and finding the cause of your symptoms
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