You have been in a car accident in Kentucky, and you were seriously injured. Severe back pain has been bothering you for days. Your fingers are numb and tingling. There is radiating pain running into your arms and legs. You've seen a doctor and they believe that you may have a herniated disc and has ordered a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to be performed.
Can an MRI be wrong?
What happens if the unthinkable happens and the MRI comes back negative? The radiologists report stated that the findings were normal. Does that mean nothing is wrong with you? Not necessarily. There are studies that show that the specific morphology of a herniation was not reported by the radiologist in 42.2% of the cases. In other words, they missed it. The MRI was not correctly read. There was a herniated disk, but it didn’t show up on the test. Why does this happen? Often times the person interpreting the MRI is not thoroughly trained in the area of back herniation. An MRI should always be sent out and reviewed by a qualified radiologist.
When your neurologist or orthopedic performs a physical examination, and it shows radiating pain and other symptoms. This is often the first indicator of a herniated disc. In 30% of patients with suspected disc herniation, they were not confirmed by traditional MRIs. Unfortunately, MRIs are not always correct. The MRI technical parameters are often over looked. Many health and legal professionals feel that the strength of the MRI unit is the key factor in determining the quality of the MRI. This is an important factor, but it is not the only determination as to whether or not a disc herniation is diagnosed. The number one determination is the thickness of the slices through the body and the gap between those slices that are set up on the MRI unit.
Finding the right doctor for you
When choosing an MRI facility, you put your faith in your doctor. Work with a doctor that understands the technical parameters of an MRI. This is crucial in making sure that a disc herniation is not overlooked. Thickness is the area that is imaged at any one particular point in the MRI. A gap is the distance between those images or the area. If there is a large gap and your herniation happens to show up in that gap, it will not be detected by the MRI. It simply will not be on the image.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I want to remind everyone that not all MRIs are created equal. It is important to ask your doctor and the facility doing the MRI what the slice thickness is and what the size of the gap is before agreeing to use them to have an MRI. This will ensure that a disc herniation will be diagnosed. This will help you receive fair compensation from your accident.