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What the heck is an MRI?


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And what can it tell differently than an x-ray, CT or Pet scan. I have just gotten back from my vacation and have message on phone to get one scheduled right away. I was in so briefly to see my med onc on Wed that I didn't have time to ask my normal battery of questions. I am being sent for one because of the major pain I am now experiencing in my rignt leg (same side as my spine mets). I didn't even have time to ask her what she thought it might be but I don't think she dismissed the idea of a blood clot. It hurts way worse after I have been on it for a bit. And I absolutely dread the nighttime. I am so glad to get back in my own bed tonight.

So, any help on what an MRI might tell me? And what is involved with the procedure?

Thanks for your help yet again


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Hi, Sandra:

An MRI provides more detail than a CT scan, and a lot more detail than an x-ray or PET scan. I've had a couple of MRIs of the head -- one to check for brain mets when this cancer thing started (negative) and another several years earlier checking for a tumor on the auditory nerve (also negative). The machine looks something like a CT or PET scanner, except the tunnel is longer and more narrow. People who are claustrophobic are advised to take some type of anxiety medication, but my main need was for earplugs because of all the racket inside the tunnel. They were provided by the technician, but I also had my own as a backup. The hardest part was lying perfectly still during the test, which as I recall was in two phases of about 15 minutes each (a short break for a dye injection between the two).

But if yours is to check on a blood clot in the leg, you'll probably go into the machine feet first and possibly your head will stay outside. Knowing you, keeping still will be your biggest challenge! :P



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Its a Magnetic Resoning Imagery - that the machine that makes the banging and clanging noises. I have had a few of my head - they gave me earphones and I got to pick which radio station I wanted to listen to.

Now - when I had one of the hip and pelvis I was in the tube for over an hour and I did start to get a tab bit claustrophobic..........

I agree with Ned - its it for your leg maybe only your legs will into the tube!!!

Good luck and let us know what the results are!!

Patti B.

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Sorry, no talking allowed - and no moving allowed, either. When they did my hip, they needed them in a certain position so - I am NOT lying - they tied my legs together!!!! Made me nuts because I wanted to do like the Hulk and just break on outa there!!!!

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I had my knee MRI'ed post dislocation about 10 yrs ago. I went in feet first. Still found it a bit claustrophobic but if I sort of tilted my head a bit, I could see the room and not feel so much like I was in a tube. For my shoulder MRI recently, I did an open MRI. If they have to do the shoulder again though, it won't be an open one and I will need a tranquilizer. :) Kelly has had so many and says she doesn't' mind them at all, so apparently the claustrophobia skipped her in my family.

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Here you go kiddo, http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cf ... ymr&bhcp=1

I just had one about 10 days ago. I've had about 8 of them over the years. You'll do just FINE! Just lay there and close your eyes and tell them you want to hear the music from the headset to block out the noise that the machine does when it takes pictures. But, you'll do just fine.


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