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should repeat mri be done to moniter changes

Hello to everyone who reads this. I am hoping a physician does because I have concerns about the future. Is it advisable to have repeat tests done and how often? I have been told I should not ever have an MRI again due to the metal plate and screws in my neck. I have had a cervical spinal fusion in 2010 and have had a thoracic MRI which showed herniated discs at T4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 and 12. The pain all started in 2007 in my lumbar spine but the doc I had at the time said there was nothing they could do about it. I have recently reduced my pain meds and the pain is worse again. But, even before I reduced the meds I had started experiencing new more severe pain in new areas. I was told I didn't have fibromyalgia and I do also have degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and spondylosenthesis along with arthritis. I do not feel that injections are an option for me because they have to be repeated and I'm not up for all of the invasive procedures. I'm only taking 4 10mg norco per day and I'm really not doing well. I am feeling like I will try to tough it out because I'm not working at the moment but I have to have better medicine if I am going to work. I am 44 years old and I worry about how I am going to feel in 20 years.


  • Your hardware in your neck is titanium and will not effect a mri machine. The radiologist just needs to know about where you have hardware. I have had plenty of images completed using MRI imaging, sense having hardware put in. They can also use contrast for more clarity if necessary. That is a false hood. Now if you have spinal cord stimulator you can't have a MRI, but I don't think that is what your talking about.

    Is there a reason you want a MRI done? If you have fused at those levels there is no reason to watch them any longer. Keep in mind that your disc is now gone so the only thing at those levels is solid bone along with hardware, although the hardware is really no longer needed once your fused, but they won't do a un-necessary surgery to remove it if there is no issue with it. So basically it just sits there once fused.

    As far as doing injections I do a set of three each year and sometimes 4, as it helps me along with the medications to deal with the pain. I would rather keeping having injections than another surgery. Surgeries come with far more risk than a injection. So far I have had a total of 6 neck surgeries and for now I am willing to do just about anything to stay off the OR table. The old saying more is not better is so true sometimes. IN addition everytime they enter for surgery your building more scar tissue which is another problem in itself. As to hoping a doctor reads this thread, for the most part we are just a group of patients sharing our stories, so it is highly unlikely that one will.
  • I was told that I would need CT scans in future due to the hardware in my lower back .and even though its titanium and Kevlar it would distort on a MRI scan {like stress lines in plastic when you bend it } I asked if I could have a MRI scan the answer was yes BUT a CT scan would be better
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • i've only had them after it has been a while that i have gone to my neurosurgeon. when i have it due to my metal, they inject a dye so they can see things better. if nothing is wrong then why waste your time and money. do one only if you feel something is really wrong or if the doctor feels you need a new one. too many are bad, radiation is a problem.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I have to agree with the above posters. One thing that could possibly occur though, is bone spur growth at the fused level......this happened with me at my lumbar level. It wasn't horribly bad, but with my last lumbar fusion (L4-L5), there was a bit of spurring affecting the nerves at L5-S1, my previous fusion. Just food for thought.

  • I was astounded to see what I saw on a recent episode of Dr. Oz. According to them, injections are not FDA approved and an undercover investigation revealed that many pain clinics are telling people that they are. I also saw people in excruciating pain from them as well as a woman who was severely paralyzed from them. It was also stated that the medications used during these procedures are not intended for that purpose. Just a word of warning that I thought everyone should know about. I'm sure you can find it on his website.
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