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Thread: Has anyone had MRIs of brain, cervical and thoracic spine at same time?

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Default Has anyone had MRIs of brain, cervical and thoracic spine at same time?

    I saw the neuro today, my second visit with this new one. Again she mentioned wanted a more up-to-date MRI but she prefers an MRI not just of the brain but also of the cervical and thoracic spine. It sounds like 3 different MRIs because she said I could do them in a couple of trips if I prefer.

    That might be better. She said that if all were done at one time, I could expect to spend at least an hour and a half in the tube. I pointed out that I'd find it difficult to lie still for that long and would probably need to use the bathroom. She thought that arrangements could be made.

    She didn't know whether I'd need to have the contrast dye inserted more than once. Does anyone happen to know?

    I postponed the discussion until my next appointment in 3 months but think that maybe I should agree to go ahead with it.

    She said I'd lost a lot of muscle mass in my hands and she thinks I may have some arthritic problems in the cervical spine. The MRI could provide the answer, I guess. She said the problems could be fixed by surgery, and if I let them go, I could be paralyzed from the neck down.

    My hands have looked like this for many years--at least 30 years--very bony-looking.

    At my age I'm not eager to have surgery of any kind and I made that clear. I told her that if I was miserable enough--not able to eat, for instance--I'd probably have to have surgery or do whatever it took to help the situation but I'd want to wait until I was that miserable.

    I'd welcome opinions.

    I've known some people who've had spinal surgery, and the outcomes were worse than expected. Much longer and more difficult recovery periods, and complications that hadn't been anticipated.
    Last edited by agate; 04-09-2018 at 01:34 PM.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.


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    Distinguished Community Member Sunshine's Avatar
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    Had my spine and brain done on different days.

    My opinion is get the imaging done. Then, if surgery is recommended, do your research and questions about pro and cons. And the surgeons track record. And th Hospital record for bed sores and infex.


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    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((agate)))))) ~

    Do you have arthritic pain in your hands or your spine? Have you had blood work to determine whether you have the RA factor, and if so, what is it? Did your neuro suggest a consult with a rheumatologist?

    For more clarification about the MRI, I recommend that you call the radiology clinic, where the MRI will be done. Prepare a list of questions, and just tell them that your doctor has suggested you have an MRI of your brain, and cervical and thoracic spine, and you would like to know what it entails. Our radiology clinic is very good about explaining things prior to the test, so hopefully, you'll have the same response from your clinic.

    If it is determined that you need surgery, who will perform the surgery? An orthopedic surgeon? Get some names and look these doctors up on the internet to see if you can find patient reviews.

    Jim is having a brain MRI and a full body CT scan on 4/27. When I spoke with the radiology clinic, I asked if he'd have the same dye for both tests, and she said he would. But, I didn't ask (and probably should have) whether he'd be given it twice, one for each test.

    Jim has a port under his right clavicle for all blood work, infusions, and injections. If a patient without a port would need two injections, I would guess an IV would be placed.

    From what I've read about the dye, radiologists prefer to use the lowest dose to get the best pictures.

    https://www.insideradiology.com.au/g...ntrast-medium/

    Go on a fact-finding mission and gather up all of the information to help you make your decision. Trust your gut is my motto.

    Sending you lots of healing energy ~

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad.

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    I had brain, cervical spine and thoracic spine all at the same time. It did not bother me, but I am not bothered by MRIs. I think I came out one time and ran to the bathroom. I don't remember how many times they put dye in. All went well, and I don't recall it being overly long.

    Good luck Agate, I do hope you do not have to have surgery.
    Virginia


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    Distinguished Community Member Pegakafarmgirl's Avatar
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    I had all 3 done at one time with contrast,, made me a wet noodle the rest of the day,,
    " Don't outsmart your common sense"

    Peg

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Thanks, Peg. I prefer not to be a wet noodle the rest of the day but maybe I could do it on two or three different days, far enough apart to give me time to recover. They try to make a person comfortable, but I can take only so much lying flat on my back.

    Virginia, there's almost no surgery I would have to have at this point, in my opinion. Unless it's a matter of life and death, surgery just isn't in my future.

    This neuro is pretty much the only one I can see since the insurance people insist that I stay "in network," and this practice is the only one acceptable to the insurance people. There are two other doctors in the practice but I'm not very impressed by them. I decided to give this new one a chance because I had to have a neuro--my primary care doctor doesn't feel she knows enough about MS.

    I appreciate her honesty and will go along with that idea. But if this neuro wants me to do anything except report there a couple of times a year, she's going to have a problem.

    She hadn't even looked into my file apparently, and this is the second time I've seen her. I told her I'd had a couple of MRIs before when with the previous neuro, who was also part of this practice. I also told her that the last MRI a couple of years ago was for the specific purpose of comparing it with the previous MRI to see what effect going off of Copaxone might have had, and yet nobody ever compared them.

    When I asked about it I was told that unless the radiologist who read the MRI had been asked to make the comparison, it wasn't done. I guess that the neuro I was talking to about it was unable to do that (or didn't want to take the time).

    This time I questioned why that MRI was even done since no comparison was made. She went scurrying out of the office to look up my record. In other words, she didn't even have my record with her for our appointment.

    She came back and said I was right and that I had indeed had a couple of MRIs through their system recently.

    Another thing: I've never had such a brief exam. It was only a 6-month exam, to be sure, and maybe she felt she had enough information from the previous exam, but I've never seen a neuro who didn't want me to take my shoes and socks off and do some tests on my feet. This one didn't do that, did no eye tests, no hearing tests, no standing with eyes closed. A few pinpricks and a couple of strength tests--that was all.

    She spent about 40 minutes rattling off the pros and cons of taking antidepressants and benzodiazepines. She did fill out a form that took all of 2 minutes to do. My disabled parking permit is about to expire, and I brought in the form. (I use it maybe once a year if my son happens to take me somewhere but I keep it handy at all times.)

    To renew it I need to go to the DMV with the doctor's signed form and pay $41.

    And speaking of costs, there was a sign in the neuro's waiting room saying that there would be a fee of $20-$60 any time the doctor was asked to fill out a form.

    That's all it said. I asked the receptionist about this, thinking that I'd just take the form to my primary care doctor instead. I was told that I wouldn't be charged because I had an appointment. "That fee is just for people who come in here without an appointment and want to have a form filled out."

    Neuros are probably inundated with people's requests for forms. They're often the gatekeepers--their word on whether or not you're disabled can change your life forever, after all.

    I like this neuro and will keep going to her but just don't have a lot of respect for her medical opinion yet.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    Distinguished Community Member Jeanie Z's Avatar
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    Smile

    :) Here you can mail the form and a check to the tax assessors office and they will mail the tag to you. Jeanie :)

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    Distinguished Community Member Sunshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanie Z View Post
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    :) Here you can mail the form and a check to the tax assessors office and they will mail the tag to you. Jeanie :)
    Nice! I brought mine in. But it’s a branch office, close and also small and easy to negotiate.

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    Distinguished Community Member Sunshine's Avatar
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    Agate, it’s tiring to have to keep advocating for ourselves. What has happened to doctors? Are they so beaten down by EHRs and haggling with insurance that there is no time to be thorough?

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    Distinguished Community Member Lazarus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agate View Post
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    I saw the neuro today, my second visit with this new one. Again she mentioned wanted a more up-to-date MRI but she prefers an MRI not just of the brain but also of the cervical and thoracic spine. It sounds like 3 different MRIs because she said I could do them in a couple of trips if I prefer.

    That might be better. She said that if all were done at one time, I could expect to spend at least an hour and a half in the tube. I pointed out that I'd find it difficult to lie still for that long and would probably need to use the bathroom. She thought that arrangements could be made.

    She didn't know whether I'd need to have the contrast dye inserted more than once. Does anyone happen to know?

    I postponed the discussion until my next appointment in 3 months but think that maybe I should agree to go ahead with it.

    She said I'd lost a lot of muscle mass in my hands and she thinks I may have some arthritic problems in the cervical spine. The MRI could provide the answer, I guess. She said the problems could be fixed by surgery, and if I let them go, I could be paralyzed from the neck down.

    My hands have looked like this for many years--at least 30 years--very bony-looking.

    At my age I'm not eager to have surgery of any kind and I made that clear. I told her that if I was miserable enough--not able to eat, for instance--I'd probably have to have surgery or do whatever it took to help the situation but I'd want to wait until I was that miserable.

    I'd welcome opinions.

    I've known some people who've had spinal surgery, and the outcomes were worse than expected. Much longer and more difficult recovery periods, and complications that hadn't been anticipated.
    Hi,
    I have had many, many MRIs. I would split it into 2 trips. Brain and then cervical and thoracic. I get dye only once on each trip. I think. Never paid that much attention. Anyway, I used to do all 3 in one trip but it is an exhausting day! I live 20 minutes from the place so it is easy to go back and forth.

    I would go for all tests recommended....you must be worried and that is not good for your ms. And, you know, information is power. Isn’t it? It is nice to have a doc with clear opinions about us. Too many ignore problems that could be helped by carelessly assigning our problems to age.

    Spinal surgeries seems to be iffy but we often remember the cases that are trouble and do not hear about uneventful cases. So, research any specific surgeries before agreeing.
    Take care
    Last edited by Lazarus; 04-10-2018 at 05:09 PM.
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"

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