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Cervical MRI panic attack

rdavis46rrdavis46 Posts: 33
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

I am new to the board but after todays episode with my hubby at the hospital today. He had MRI, CT scan and xray of his neck and CT scan and xray of his lower back. He had no issues with MRI for lower back before when he had one in May 2011. Just that it was very painful to lay there that long. But today the tech put something around his neck that freak him out. And then was putting him thru with this neck brace thing. He said he freak out and it was like he wasn't able to move and felt like he was being confine down. She brought him right out when he said he couldn't handle the neck thing. So she took him out and said he was done. She made a remark well you did fine last mri. He thinks it was more the neck brace that freak him out than the mri itself. He is refusing to do it again due to the neck brace thing. I called his neurosurgeon and he said he has to do it. They will try an open mri this time around and if needs something they could call him and they would do iv sedation. Which they should of done that today in the first place so it would of been taken care of today. I told him how rude the tech was as well. He is said is so important to have this MRI of his neck. I told him to please put on there iv sedation so that he can get it done this last time. We didn't know about the neck problem until the neurosurgeon exam him. He barely complains of his neck but now recently he has especially today when he had to extend his neck all the way back and forward now he says it is worst again.Is this common to wear some type of neck brace during a mri scan they did not use it for the ct scan. Just dont' understand why they just didn't use the brace and just put him thru without it.
Between his neck and back pain which also shoots down his hip and leg. He also falls a few times a day losing his balance. Walks with a cane too. He is only going to be 49 yr old in August. His last cervical surgery was 2001 but he had 2 lumbar surgers 2001 and 2005. He has degentative disc disease, stensois and arthritis. He had herniated disc before his last surgery now he has bulging disc and narrowing with the stenosis in his lower back. We are glad we went to see a neurologist for a 2nd opinion we had gone back to his orthopedic surgeon and all he did was send him back to pain management for injections which he did on Monday and in the worst pain ever. They did 2 levels at that time as well. They dont' work for him and had series of 3 each time before surgery.


  • This is what is on the diagnosis paper for the ct, mri and xray of his neck and lower back: 721.1 cervical mylopathy, 729.5 arm/leg pain, 782.0 parethesia/numbness, 724.2 low back pain, 724.02 Lumbar stenosis, 724.4 lumber radiculopathy, lumbar DDD (degenative disc disease). Wow that is alot wrong with him. Only thought it was his back but surgeon did tell us that once you do surgery you are preposition to have more problems with stenosis and degentative disease. Plus he has the arthopathy in his back not sure about his neck yet as it hasn't been done since 2001 and his last surgeon did not catch that something could be wrong with his neck. He had him waiting for almost 2 hours before seeing him and saw him for less than 5 min and his exam was to quick. It took them hour before they took him back then had to tell everything to the nurse then he thought he was seeing the dr next instead it was his assistant and that is when he lost it. He says oh no when she walk in and she says what you dont' want to see me he said nope I don't I came here to see the doctor. He said I been waiting here for an hour and half and now you want me to repeat myself again when I just told the nurse everything. He was getting mad and aggitated and in so much pain. He also bipolar and has anxiety when it is time to see dr. She kept leaving the room and came back and dr said he had to talk to her first before he came in he became uncoraperative then they sent a supervisor in finally got him to talk to her then dr came in said a few words would not mention surgery again just he needs to go to pain management for injections and gave him a script for neurontin. It hasn't help one bit think it makes him more moody and anxious. So before we left the orthopedic surgeon told my hubby if you ever treat my assistant like that I will kick your A** out of here and refuse to see you again. Told him he got one chance and he is out. Well they shouldn't have a patient waiting that long to see a doctor in the first place. He hasn't seen him since post op appt in 2005 and to be treated like this was unfair. yea hubby could of been more patient or not been snappy. But the poor guy is in such much pain it hurts to even sit for him. So after that appt I got on the phone and called around and figure this time we are going to go try a neurosurgeon. What a big difference all the last 3 surgeries were done by orthopedic doctors. We were so impressed with his assistant seen within 15 min of being there. He spent so much time with him getting the info and the most through examination he has ever gotten and that is when he said that he may have issue with his neck again. so that is when he gave us the orders for all these test and also said to do the injections even if they didn't work in the past. Probably for insurance as you have to try all the conservative methods which he did 2 months of phsyical theray and try aqua therapy as well none of it work just made him worst. he has been disabled since 1998 and hates that he can't work and every few years social security wants to review if he is still disabled and actually just filled it out again and sent in the mail yesterday. then they decided if they are going to do a thorough review of his case to see if he is still disabled I think that is crazy he goes to see his primary doctor every single month for his pain meds. and other things like diabetes, etc. And now with pt, all these test, injections and maybe future surgeries. This is crazy that you have to keep showing that you are still disabled. I am afraid if he don't have surgery he will be in wheelchair soon. And mentally he will not be able to handle that. He wants a power chair to help him get around in stores, and other community places. He had a scooter in 2003 but it broke plus they are so big and bulky that you can't drive them in small places like our home there is no way you would get thru since our home is small. He don't want to use it all the time but when he is having issues or has to walk long distance this would help him. I suggest a walker with seat to his neurosurgeon assistant and he didn't think that was a good idea saying he needs to stay mobile he could lose more of his mobility. But we can't keep having him fall either. His legs just give out and he has lost alot of muscle strength especially the legs and hips. So they think it is coming from both his neck and lower back.
  • I'm sorry your husband had a bad experience. Whenever I've had a cervical MRI I've had that neck brace thing. They didn't put me very far into the machine since they only needed the cervical area. I am able to close my eyes and just listen to music.

    The techs should have been understanding. I understand why the procedure would need to be re-scheduled. It would take more time and preparation before and after the procedure to accommodate IV sedation, so that has to be built into the schedule. I hope he has a better experience next time and some relief soon.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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  • I am sorry that no one was understanding at the MRI appointment. When I had my cervical mri my head was "locked" into a head/neck brace. It was sort of scary but I was in so much pain from the position it took away from my anxiety about the test. They need you to stay completely still, so the neck/head brace helps with that.

    I am glad you found a good neuro. I used a neurosurgeon for my neck surgery, but I am sure there are good ortho surgeons as well.

    IV sedation seems a bit much. I have heard of docs prescribing valium or a different mild sedative for people with anxiety and medical procedures.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • thanks for the replies so this is common to have this neck brace when he had one back in 2001 he don't recall a brace at all. so hoping the open mri and sedation will help since he is more freak out over the neck brace. It was way to overwhelming for him. when he had his lower back mri done he had no issues but pain and lay very still. He said he could lay still without one but told me that when she put him in that he panic and was trying to move his neck in the brace and now his neck hurts plus the xray of his neck where he had to put his neck all the way back. usually the pain is all in his back, hip and legs but today the neck start. still waiting for it be reschedule so if they dont' call by tuesday after the holiday I will give them to noon then I will call the surgeon again and they will contact them again. probably have to get authorize again wish he would of stuck it out and got it over with today. Or they would of call his dr and they could of gave him something there instead of having to do it all over again. They didnt' even tell us we had to reschedule so I call the surgeon as soon as we got home and told him what happen he call me back and said he has to do this test and he will do the open mri and sedation if he needs it to get this done. wish the epidural injection would of gave him some relief it was on monday morning and here it is the end of Friday already he should of had some releif but hasn't had any. I think we are looking at neck and lower back surgery again in the near future. if a patient needs both don't they usually do the neck first then few months later do the back. I know that is how they did in aug 2001 had cervical in aug and lumbar in dec actually the day after xmas too
  • All of the cervical spine MRI's I have had done required the use of the head brace. It does something to help with the images. It is not meant to hold you in place. I have asked to have the pictures without it, as I don't like that part either, sense it is confining. But the tech explained it is needed for the pictures.

    As far as your appointment with the surgeons, sometimes you do have to wait, as they might run long in a surgery. Many of the surgeons run their office hours around their surgery schedule. Some of them are on call to the ER's as well, so they might not have expected a surgery and it came in as a urgent case. But sounds like your happy with the new surgeon, so hopefully he will find out what is causing all your husbands issues.

    If you want to learn about your husbands conditions there is a search feature at the top of the page and you can put in words like degenative disc disease and it will bring up all the articles about the subject and explain the condition. It is not really a disease, as one would think.

    You might want to call the facility to be sure they have the order ahead of time for the IV sedation. Good luck on the new MRI, and hopefully it will lead to the answers as to what is wrong with your husband.

    AS far as SSDI, goes that is standard protocol as someone might have gotten better with treatments they have been receiving. Well we all hope the treatments we get will make us better.
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  • I hope you and your husband are getting answers now? I can understand being "uncomfy" in closed spaces. Pain bites.. I hope you have answers soon...

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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