MRI… Friend Or Foe?

There is always a question as to whether or not an MRI is needed, desired or unnecessary… which is what we address with each of our patients individually. If you talk to the experienced health care provider, the answer is probably “no” more than “yes”. However, if you talk to the patient, they oftentimes swear they need one, or will gain more confidence in getting one.

Here is some insight on why experienced health care providers shy away from getting an MRI until it is absolutely necessary!

Thank you to Adam Meakins for eloquently stating this information:

Do you think an MRI for that patient with persistent back pain will give you the answer?

This is an interesting study that highlights one issue with medical imaging.

1 patient with persistent low back pain had 10 MRIs in 10 different settings interpreted by 10 different radiologists.

49 possible pathologies where identified on the reports in total, but none, that’s NONE were reported consistently by all 10 radiologists.

Just how confusing is that for you as a clinician and the patient?

When it comes to medical imaging remember the 2 golden rules…

  1. Is there a high risk/suspicion of sinister life threatening pathology?
  2. Will the information gained from a scan change my management plan?

If no to both then DO NOT scan!

It will only hinder not help you or your patient!

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