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MRI normal #280355
05/13/18 05:35 PM
05/13/18 05:35 PM
Joined: May 2016
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London, UK
elbmow Offline OP
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elbmow  Offline OP
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The MRI of my pelvis/lumbar spine didn't show anything. It's not reassuring, it's frustrating, because now I don't know how to progress with treatment. The sulfasalazine is not helping and I now have chronic achilles tendinitis, which makes it difficult to exercise to help the stiffness in my back.

I know sometimes an MRI won't show anything, but I'm also concerned about the quality of the images. They don't look anything like other lumbar MRIs I've seen.

I wonder what the next step might be for me. I see a new rheumatologist next month. What should I ask?

Re: MRI normal [Re: elbmow] #280357
05/13/18 11:40 PM
05/13/18 11:40 PM
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Winston Online
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If you're concerned about the quality of the images, I would ask about that. Did they do the test with contrast? Also, make sure the new rheumatologist has the images before you see him/her.

Re: MRI normal [Re: elbmow] #280359
05/14/18 10:19 AM
05/14/18 10:19 AM
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London, UK
elbmow Offline OP
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No, no contrast. That's when they inject you with something right?

Re: MRI normal [Re: elbmow] #280360
05/14/18 11:44 AM
05/14/18 11:44 AM
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Winston Online
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Yes. Rheumatologists will often order an MRI of the SI joints with and without contrast, especially early in the disease (at least that's the practice in the US; I see you're in the UK). Here's an article that explains how/why the contrast helps: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3389863/. You might discuss with your new rheumatologist why that wasn't done in your case and if it would be helpful.

Re: MRI normal [Re: elbmow] #280364
05/14/18 03:47 PM
05/14/18 03:47 PM
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SAA presented a very informative webinar on the use of MRI in diagnosing back pain. It's 43 minutes long, but well worth the time. You can watch it on the SAA website here: https://www.spondylitis.org/About-S...nd-spondyloarthritis-webinar-maksymowych or on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tucj4XpYR0o


Ginny - 57 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis
unicompartmental knee replacements: right-June 2014, left-Aug 2018
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Celebrex as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Culturelle probiotic, Melatonin (as needed)
Re: MRI normal [Re: elbmow] #280373
05/15/18 07:42 PM
05/15/18 07:42 PM
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elbmow Offline OP
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Thanks both. I watched the video - though I had to watch it in segments because of his voice - and it's interesting but really confirms my concerns that my treatment won't progress without a positive MRI. Again, the images here are nothing like the ones I was given. I'm sure the radiologists know what they're doing, but it's unhelpful to me. I know the MRI wasn't done for me, but still... I'll see if I can upload some images so you can see what I mean.

It's just frustrating not getting any answers and, although the healthcare here is very good when you get it, you often have to fight for it or wait a long time between appointments. I'm young and I want to get on with my life - without so much pain.

I think for now I just have to wait and see. I'm having physiotherapy on my achilles and that is improving, so hopefully I will be fit to exercise soon and then I'll see some improvements in my back. I hope.

Re: MRI normal [Re: elbmow] #280400
05/19/18 07:44 AM
05/19/18 07:44 AM
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elbmow Offline OP
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Here are the clearest of the MRI images so you can see what I mean. I'm not saying they're wrong, they just don't look like other MRIs I've seen of that region. https://imgur.com/a/wb0e56o


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