View Full Version : x rays

23rd August 2004, 12:26 PM
I was wondering how some of you guys got your hands on your x rays. I havent seen mine for three years and they didnt say 'here you are' and let me walk off with them. Do I just ask? Is it that easy. Think i,ll give it a try. One more point. I,m still off work coz of back pain. If I walk any distance my legs feel like they belong to someone else and I have to drive them to keep going. I asked the doc if it was down to scoliosis but, he said no, and that my back wasn,t that bad. Hmmm interesting, how bad does it have to be, I don,t know but it all sounds a bit iffy to me.

23rd August 2004, 12:35 PM
Have you any idea what degrees your curves are, Ian? If not, could you ask your GP? It would help give us some idea of the severity of your scoliosis.

Sadly, many people with mild scoliosis do get a lot of pain, and some people with very severe scoliosis get no pain at all! Pain isn't necessarily linked to the severity of your curves :( I grew up with 60+/40+ curves and no pain whatsoever. I'd imagine though that a single curve (a 'C' curve) might cause more problems than a double ('S') curve, because double curves are more balanced.

I think it would be a good plan to go to your GP and get more info about your scoliosis..... and it's not good to be in that much pain, whatever is causing it, so give your GP a kick up the behind and get him to refer you to a specialist who can do more to work out what's going on.

Good luck!! :)

23rd August 2004, 12:38 PM
Ian I have mild scoliosis and I am in agony but because my curve isn't that big the consultants aren't interested. :( They've seen worse and reckon that I have chronic mechanical back pain as well and have to live with it. I don't know my curves either as the last doctor wouldn't tell me and my orginal x-rays were lost during amove to another hospital.

23rd August 2004, 12:40 PM
Hi Ian,
In my case I found the name of someone in the medical records dept.
Then I phoned and asked for them and followed it up in writing.The x rays arrived back within 4 days.
As for pain I always believed that scoliosis wasn't necessarily the cause of pain, but having spent 2 years on various message boards It's fair to say that people with scoliosis suffer from back pain regardless of the size of their curve.An imbalanced back can cause major muscle pain from the biomechanical strain.
Pain is real and never imagined and you'll have to persist with following up your problem with your GP.There's a sad lack of understanding of the situation of the adult scoliosis patient and we all battle against it.
Where are you based in the UK? perhaps if you can afford it, it might be a good idea to arrange a private consultation with a consultant who is sympathetic to adult patients.Grab your x rays (which are expensive privately) and maybe invest 150 in a private consult.

23rd August 2004, 12:49 PM
I asked about obtaining my x-rays and was told that I couldn't have any that were in my folder because if I had complications later on, they would need all these x-rays to help determine why. I could, however, have another one taken at the time of my next x-ray which I plan on doing. They do cost, though and I think this cost is about 15.

23rd August 2004, 01:02 PM
I got my x-rays by just saying "hey, could I get a copy of those?" and paying I think $7 per x-ray to copy them... Both docs that I have gotten copies from were nice about it. My surgeon copied them for me on the spot. I had to wait a few days to get the ones from the surgeon I visited previously.

23rd August 2004, 01:22 PM
they just gave me mine at the first post-op checkup appointment. I do have to mention that I'll be having the next chechup's with another doc. He assisted during my surgery and he's the one who's been "handling" my back for as long I know, so he knows as much as my surgeon. Maybe that's why I could have mine.
It is strange that you didn't see your xrays for 3 years... I'd just ask to see/have them.

23rd August 2004, 01:49 PM
I just for asked them, and I got them for free. But the system is different in each country... (I'm in Belgium, like BlueIce)

23rd August 2004, 02:55 PM
My understanding of the UK system is that you can ask for a copy of all your notes and xrays, and pay 50 for the privilege (you will probably have to fill in a special request form, and get it counter-signed by a professional who has known you for x length of time). There is the possibility that if your files have been updated within 40 days preceding your request you may get a copy of everything for free.

However, if I correctly read the request form, they can choose to withold anything that may be damaging to you emotionally :-o This is unlikely to include xrays however, so you should have a good chance of getting them. It is also possible for your GP to request copies or the originals (it seems to vary from one hospital to the next as to whether they insist on keeping the originals), and either show them to you, but keep hold of them, or release them into your keeping. Unfortunately most GPs seem unaware of what they can or can't do in this regard (which might be partly down to the bizarre variation in how different hospitals handle things :soapbox: )

Considering that you mentioned that you have been told that you have arthritis, if you're having problems with your legs not behaving, I think you should try to get your GP to make you a referral to a spine specialist at a specialist centre asap. As you're in Lancashire, the 2 closest specialist centres I can think of are the Hartshill Orthopaedic hospital (I know little about them, but they have specialised in the treatment of scoliosis in the past, including designing a variant of a widely used - at the time anyway - rod system for scoliosis), and Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham (I had a major surgery there which was very successful, and was an out of area patient - I live in Wiltshire).

Pain wise, depending on what you are taking already, your GP may be able to do more to help. I know some docs get pretty hung up on what is the "right" way to treat something, but in fact there is a wide variety of NSAIDs (eg ibuprofen, diclofenac/voltarol, aspirin, indometacin and the newer COX2 inhibitors such as Vioxx, Celebrex and others), which may or may not work in different individuals - as an example, a friend of mine has psoriatic arthritis, and was kept on diclofenac for years, told there was nothing else he could be given. He has finally been swapped to a COX2 inhibitor and is in less pain than he has been in years. There are also a variety of other painkillers such as Co-Dydramol, Co-Proxamol, Co-Codamol, Tramadol and others, which are particularly good when used as supplemental painkillers to the NSAIDs in inflammatory conditions. Hopefully your doctor can find a combination which helps ease things for you while you wait to see a specialist.

Sorry this has gone on for so long :oops: I really hope you can get the help you need soon!

23rd August 2004, 03:23 PM
Thank you all for your help and advice. I think its time to track down a specialist like you suggest. Watch this space.

23rd August 2004, 03:43 PM
I'm in Norway, and got a post-op x-ray to go home with me for free. But I e-mailed him later to ask for the pre-op one, and he sent me all the x-rays! From the side, back etc. It was great. They have all their x-rays in a database, so to send copies is easy. They also have the curve degrees written on them! :joke:

23rd August 2004, 04:48 PM
I would have thought the Freedom of Information Act should entitle you to see all of your medical records. Being kept from info because it might do you 'emotional damage' sounds like a crock to me. Just ask politely and don't make a big deal of it and you should be able to see your records.

Many larger hospitals now take xrays in digital form so getting a copy shouldn't be as hard as it was in the old days (I paid the equivalent of around 10 quid to get my last ones on CD - from a public hospital in Australia).

If your hospital only takes the old fashioned xrays you can still ask for a copy. If they can't do it easily I would just bring a camera to the hospital and take a quick snap while it's up on the lightbox. Better than nothing.

Remember to ask your doc what your curve stats are if you're interested in comparing your scoliosis with other folks.

23rd August 2004, 07:02 PM
I took a picture of mine while my doctor was showing me... i dont think I would have been able to get them otherwise.

24th August 2004, 12:54 AM
I took a picture of one of mine while at the clinic, as well. But then my doctor told me that I would have to be referred to someone else who specializes in adult scoliosis (I expected this), so he released the xrays to me to bring along to my next appointment. I'm expected to bring them back to the referring clinic after the next doctor is through with them, though. Let's see if that happens... *smirk*

28th August 2004, 12:30 AM
I got copies of mine made put I had to pay for them. 45 dollars or somthing. A bit pricey, but worth it. Just phone up your doctor and ask. I had to go through radiology.

1st September 2004, 06:40 PM
1st time I asked my consultant who made a note of it that I was after x-rays. 2nd time I asked one of the staff at reception for the name and address for the medical records officer at the hospital, explained what I was after and was given a leaflet on comments and suggestions that had it in.

I got a copy of the first lot of x-rays I asked for for free but my consultant said he'd let me have them with no charge only because I'd asked for them within 40 days of my x-rays/notes being updated, otherwise I would have had to pay anything between a 10 upto 50. That was in 2001/02 so don't know if those rules still apply for the NHS. Anyway, I ended up asking for a copy of my medical notes and the rest of my x-rays aswell and the rob dogs only gave me my notes which set me back 50.

1st September 2004, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by ivanleg@Aug 23 2004, 03:48 PM
I would have thought the Freedom of Information Act should entitle you to see all of your medical records. Being kept from info because it might do you 'emotional damage' sounds like a crock to me. Just ask politely and don't make a big deal of it and you should be able to see your records.
You are entitled to view your medical records free of charge in the UK but I think a staff member has to be in the room while you do. I don't know if they remove sensitive information that they think you shouldn't see when you go and view your medical records at the hospital but I know for a fact they can remove stuff before they ship your own copy out to you, I was told when I had mine, pen pushers. :soapbox:

1st September 2004, 09:17 PM
Guess what, I rang the private hospital where my Xray were done three years ago and asked for the x rays. Theysaid fine, they,ll be ready for you at reception. Sometimes life just makes things easy for a change eh. I wish the bloody halifax would sort my mortgage out as fast, but you don't want to go there, hell no. LOL
Also, as far as my referal to a specialist goes, well they got their heads together apparently and the MSK has decided to send me to a physio. I could have done that my self. Oh well, must dash, things to do.

1st September 2004, 09:28 PM
So glad that things are going a bit better for you!

1st September 2004, 10:33 PM
That's good Ian.....don't dismiss the idea of physio.It might help strengthen some muscles that you didn't even know you had!! :-D
When you get your x rays you can put them on site if you want and we'll take a peek at them.
But at least if you find a private appointment elsewhere you 'll be able to walk in with them and save yourself a lot of time and hassle.

2nd September 2004, 12:48 AM
Agreed- Though you do have to be picky (when possible) about physical therapy.
I have been in it twice.

The first time was shortly after my scoliosis was discovered, about 2 years ago. The stuff they had me doing had me hurting all the time, and I think really helped my progression along... If it didn't, it's a mighty big coincidence that my back went from a curve maybe 25 degrees (just a guess) to 52 degrees in just two months, those two months coinciding with my physical therapy treatment.

However, I did 6 weeks of physical therapy after my surgery, and it helped me SO much. I was having muscle spasams so severe that I could hardly function because of them. My muscle spasams have returned somewhat, but they're not as debilitating as they were before, and I actually have full range of motion in both arms.

When you do physio- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. I allowed my Physical Therapist to push me WAY too far the first time, going with the "No pain, no gain" mentality. I thought for sure I was just being wimpy. I started questioning that the day that I couldn't even get up off my stomach from the mats because my arms, neck, and shoulders were in such severe pain. I stopped going a week later.
The next time, I took it easier on myself. I still pushed myself. SOME. But not nearly so hard. I listened to my body more, and it helped me a LOT

2nd September 2004, 10:42 AM
Good advice Blair. I,ll watch out for overdoing it. And here was me the other day at work terminating a 185 cable. (For those not electrically minded, it basically means a lot of heavy arm work). I came away very sore and stiff, but its my living so what can I do. The doc shook his head when I told him what I did for a living but I can,t afford to quit. Its just another major worry having to work. I wonder how many people here or on disability or not, or is there anyone who has a physical job and is finding it a struggle?.

2nd September 2004, 11:40 AM
yes Ian,
I work as an industrial lab tech and some of it involves climbing and reaching at heights to get samples and some amount of night work.It had to give some time and I've just taken part time work for a 20 hour week.Financially I'm ok as my husband has a good salary and it suits me to be with my children but it was my health issues that played a big part in the decision.I have to keep working for the mortgage and health insurance.It's not an option as there's no system in place in Ireland like the NHS unless you're old or very very poor.I think Pikey found it very difficult as well but he'll tell you about it himself.Again if you're a family man you have to keep working.

2nd September 2004, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by boardstalker@Sep 2 2004, 09:42 AM
The doc shook his head when I told him what I did for a living but I can,t afford to quit.
My consultant did the same when I told him that I'm a bookseller. I felt like :twak: him. I love my job and actually only work part time due to my condition which breaks my heart as I would love to work in the bookshop full time and had I been able to I would be running the kids dept instead of helping out. :( I couldn't leave my job either because we need the money and it does make me happy.

Anyway I'm glad that you're able to get your x-rays Ian, that's brilliant news. :D

3rd September 2004, 04:08 AM
My surgeon frowns upon my profession- horse trainer. But I love it. And I actually feel worse when I'm sitting at a desk doing bookeeping than I do when I'm being pushed around by 1000 pound animals.... Very odd, I do believe. But it works for me- glad to not have the option of sitting on my butt for the rest of my life behind a desk....