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Chronic Pain Radiation Exposure from Treatments

Lala329LLala329 Posts: 283
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi fellow spineys,

I was just wondering how you guys handle the issue of the radiation exposure that is unfortunately necessary for the wide variety of chronic pain treatments.

It's something that always bugs me, but I find that doctors tend to dismiss my concerns so I really have no idea how concerned I should be. I've tried to discuss this with pretty much all my doctors (my internist, my ob/gyn, my PM doc, and my surgeon), but all I've really gotten is that it is something to be concerned about but there is no alternative. I love my doctors, but quite honestly don't think that anyone is really taking my radiation exposure into consideration. I agree that most of the radiation is unavoidable as the fluroscope is a necessary tool for injections, but at the same time I know that the cumulative effect of all this radiation could not be good and nobody is really sitting there adding up how much exposure I've had. Do you guys get concerned about your radiation exposure? Does anyone have any information regarding radiation exposure in chronic pain patients? Have any of your doctors addressed radiation exposure with you?

Between the X-rays, CT scans, and all the procedures done under the fluroscope I can't help but think about what all this radiation is doing. I know most people on the boards have had imaging involving radiation and a lot of fluoroscope time, so I was hoping you all could weigh in with some opinions on whether this is something you worry about, or if your PM docs have addressed this, or if there is anything you specifically do to help limit your radiation exposure.



  • I actually saw a article on this in a mag the other day, it basically said the worse offender is the CT scans for radiation. The rest weren't that bad. ;)
  • I have thought about it, but then I think of the pain I live in currently and want that addressed. I have been told the exposure is low but who knows. But I think having pain so high and not knowing the source of it would be far greater risk to me. When the pain is out of control my blood pressure sky rockets. So I think you have decide which you would rather have, pain or the exposure to the radiation?
  • I've worried about that myself. I'd love to be able to read more about any studies they've done to determine when enough is too-much. The fact that I tend to glow in the dark has me a bit concerned as well. If anyone has a link to any articles on the subject I'd love to see it. Thanks. Irish55
  • Although the effects of the radiation exposure that you have received in the past is probably negligible, it is reasonable to be concerned about the side effects of any type of intervention. I believe the most prudent action would be to simply stop procedures, medications, etc. if at some point you believe that the risks (as represented to you) outweigh actual/potential benefits, particularly if there are diagnostic and treatment alternatives available.
  • I just did a little research and flouroscopy and CT's both have a lot of radiation associated with them! I don't think its neglible at all if you've had 20 flouro's and a handful of CT's in a few year period.
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