View Full Version : Anyone ever had a spinal MRI???

France & Amelia
8th June 2009, 05:27 PM

Just wondering if anyone has ever had a spinal MRI??? I know that MRI scans show the spine in more detail, plus the rotation of the vertebrae too. Just wondered if anyone has ever had one and if so was it on NHS or private???

Ooh soooooooo much to learn!

Many thanks


Mustang Sal
8th June 2009, 05:39 PM
I think pretty much everyone on here has had a spinal MRI at some point as, like you say, they show up a heck of a lot more than a plain xray. Surgeons like to have this done prior to performing any surgery so they can rule out spinal cord abnormalities, which often makes surgery a bit trickier.

I don't particularly like MRIs because the tunnel you have to lie in is really quite small and 'closed in', but i'm generally ok if I can have a little something from the docs ;)

A full spine xray will probably take about an hour, and most places give you headphones so you can listen to music (the machine is very loud and bangy, so this is definitely recommended). People often find lying still for that long quite difficult, especially if you have spinal deformity because lying flat is often uncomfortable, or nigh on impossible, but they will try to make you as comfortable as possible by padding you out with wedges and pillows etc.


Sal x

Mustang Sal
8th June 2009, 05:41 PM
Oh, and all my MRIs have been NHS, as has every other part of my hospital treatment - private is not an option for me unfortunately as I can't get medical insurance for my pre-existing condition (and definitely can't afford self-pay!)

8th June 2009, 06:14 PM
I have also had a couple MRI's they do show a lot more than a regular xray. They are small around, but you clear it! lol I actually don't mind them cause they kind of get warm. I have some stuff going on with my spinal cord and some other things so I couldn't hold still because of involuntary jerks...but normally the key is to hold extremely still. They normally don't take that long. They are noisy, I had headphones on and that makes it less noisy. Best of luck! -Rods :D

Oh, my MRI was private. :D

8th June 2009, 07:03 PM
like Sal says, most of us on here have had an MRI at some point as a precursor to surgery, mine was also on the good ol' NHS. It's not pleasant, but you get through it, even if you are a bit deaf afterwards :p (only joking ;))

8th June 2009, 07:19 PM
Hiya, I've had an MRI on my spine plenty of times, once under the NHS and the rest privately! :D

8th June 2009, 09:18 PM
I had a couple of mri scans and they are nothing to worry about-its mind over matter.I was given earplugs so the noise wasnt too bad.
Mine was on the NHS but make sure its quite a new unit as I had one done in a very old machine which seemed much narrower than the modern ones plus it broke down after 15mins and we had to start all over again!
My 13yr old daughter is due one soon and like I said to her the thought is actually worse than the actual thing:)

France & Amelia
8th June 2009, 09:36 PM
Thanks for your replies. We live in Germany you see so just wanted to know what treatment people get in the UK so that I have something of a benchmark to compare the treatment to. My daughter has only had a normal x-ray so far but Im quite concerned about the rotation of her spine which I know would probably show up better on an MRI. We're back at the specialist next tuesday with her first brace to make sure it does what its meant to. Will try to ask him, - bit of a struggle with the language thing, Im much better at ordering food and drinks in resturants! Medical terminolgolgy is difficult enough in english, let alone German. Plus thank goodness I have my TomTom to find the place - somethings just aint simple!

9th June 2009, 01:34 PM
I was really anxious when Elodie had to have her MRI but actually it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined. The 'tunnel' was actually quite spacious and was open at each end as far4 as I remember. She took in one of her CDs which they played to her through headphones. The machine is very noisy but the staff spoke to her between each scan and explained exactly what was happening. She was fine, just a bit bored at having to lie still for so long. This was at Evelina Children's Hospital, attached to Guy's and St Thomas's in London. It is all very modern and obviously geared towards children so don't know if her experience there was better than it would have been elsewhere because of this. This is all NHS by the way.

9th June 2009, 02:59 PM
Yeah i have had an mri and other intensive tests also , i really wasn't nervous about it because all the nurses are ever so kind in telling you step by step whats going to be done which really calms you down because truthfuly it can be a bit intimdating seeing a huge machine and not knowing anything about it ! :)

The spinal mri you go in this big white (well my machine was white ) machine and you lie down with earplugs and it slowly lowers you in , then there is this rather annoying noise like beeping and it can be quite irritating ! I watched "Shark Tale" while i was in there which was good because it gets really boring lying back down for half an hour ! You must lie with you hands beside your sides and completely still because it can interfear with the machines reading of the mri and you mightn't get the best picture result.

Hope i helped you out

France & Amelia
9th June 2009, 04:25 PM
Thank you, and so presumably the images and details they reveal are much clearer and conclusive than x-rays alone??? Do people have them if they do not need surgery too?


9th June 2009, 05:13 PM
Yes and MRI shows a LOT better image than an xray. It shows the spinal cord, muscles, fat, bones, really good images! =)
I believe they do them before surgery or if they suspect something and it isn't showing up on an xray. I had an MRI done here a couple weeks ago, and they were trying to make sure there was nothing that they couldn't see on an xray. Not to scare you, they saw nothing on my xray, but when they did the MRI they saw a bunch of stuff...
Hope this helps!!! :D

Mustang Sal
9th June 2009, 05:52 PM
Thank you, and so presumably the images and details they reveal are much clearer and conclusive than x-rays alone??? Do people have them if they do not need surgery too?


Yep, they use MRI for all sorts of things these days, mainly because the images are so much clearer than most other forms of imaging. Another bonus is that MRI does not use ionising radiation as it's basically a massive magnet that does something to the body's nuclei (don't quote me on that - i'm no scientist!) in order to get the pictures. Like Rods, I also had an MRI recently (well, 2 actually but that's a long story!) to try to figure out what's causing my pain, but it didn't work because I have stainless steel instrumentation, which can sometimes mess up the images.

9th June 2009, 09:14 PM
I had 2 or even 3 mri's (but not all on my spine) while having my intensive scolioisis tests . I had them before i even was told about surgery but they usually do them to see if there rotation or nerve damage erc .... they are preety amazing to look at and shows your whole body shape .

18th June 2009, 09:11 AM
I have now had 3 spinal mri, and 2 head mri's although all of mine have been after surgery, so they haven't always got the best pictures as the metal distorts the images. All of mine have been NHS, and the images are a lot clearer than an xray. Shame it shows up the 1 bit I try to hide - my body fat :). Hope you get on o.k with the translation as i'm sure i would think I was asking about rotation, angles etc, but actually telling the consultant he has a monkey butt or something daft.

18th June 2009, 11:51 AM
Hope you get on o.k with the translation as i'm sure i would think I was asking about rotation, angles etc, but actually telling the consultant he has a monkey butt or something daft.