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Has anyone had an MRI?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
That is, you personally. I go for one on Saturday afternoon to have both of my knees scanned. They didn't want to do it in an open MRI so I will be stuck in the "tube" for about an hour.

Has anyone had one done and what was the experience like? Any advice you can give me?

The doctor thinks it is either a torn meniscus (in both knees), or my old knee cap injury gone ugly. I'm hoping the former as the surgery for that is relatively easy. The alternatives for bad knee caps are limited and most likely require full knee replacement surgery. I hear a 1 year lay up for the latter (yikes).

I'm beginning to sweat bullets.

The only good thing is that I'm relieved of litter scooping duties - I can't kneel down to scoop right now. Hubby isn't thrilled, as that is a duty we usually share.
post #2 of 28
Yes, I had one. I was terrified before also. It really isn't as bad as people make it sound. Yes, you are somewhat enclosed, but if at any time you are uncomfortable, they will take you out. They played music and spoke to me while I had mine done. Your knee won't be quite as scary because your head will not have to be mobilized. The most important thing is to keep your knee completely still. If you don't it will take longer. Good Luck!
post #3 of 28
I've had several done over the years... since it's for something below the waist, they'll probably put you in feet first... I much prefer feet first!! my first MRI was for my hip (had a back injury but the moron doctors hadn't a clue...) and they bound my feet with tape (one leg, when relaxed, completely flops to the side... so we had a laugh while she used masking tape to bind my sicked feet together... ) when I went in a few months later for my back (and evenatully ones for my head and neck... yes, my body is all out of whack) they put me in head first and didn't talk to me... i became slightly claustrophobic becuase of that. I was in for nearly two hours, with no verbal contact or music. Not very nice people at that place...

It should be fine... expecially if they put you in feet first. Ask if they'll play music or something... or if you can wear a blindfold... that tube is pretty darn boring after the first five minutes...

Good luck! It usually isn't TOO bad... I've just had some bad ones... just remember, if they do play music, don't move your feet to the music!

Amanda
post #4 of 28
It is loud and a bit cramped. Your doctor can prescribe valium, and I suggest you take the eye mask and headphones they will offer you as well. You should be fine- and they are in tune with you with a speaker so if you freak out they will stop and pull you out immediately
post #5 of 28
I have neurofibromatosis so I have had these things a few times. They aren't so bad (I have only had them on my head and neck).

They are noisy, and boring in a way, but they don't hurt. Since one can't move during the procedure, I find that it helps to have something to focus on, like a (mental) word game or multiplication tables. This helps me not figet and not be so nervous.
Best of luck, and I will be thinking of you!
Catfriend
post #6 of 28
I've had two done, both on my knees. Honestly, I was mostly bored during them, and almost actually fell asleep during the first one. My last was a few years ago, but I definately noticed a difference in the amount of time it took. The first was almost an hour, the second only about 30 minutes, so hopefully yours will be even faster! Don't worry, you'll be just fine. Good vibes and prayers for you from me and my boys!
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for sharing your experiences everyone! My doctor hasn't prescribed valium and the nurse suggested that I do things to make myself sleepy prior to going in, like avoiding caffeine, staying up late, etc. I've been to this center before for ultrasounds and if the MRI people are as nice as the ultrasound people, it shouldn't be so bad.

I'm thinking I'm going to get terribly bored and I'm a figity person so it will be hard to sit totally still for an hour. I'm the type to tap my foot to do something to keep moving - think I will skip the caffeine on Saturday.
post #8 of 28
It is not bad.. I have had my head done ( feel free to insert joke but I have) .... my aabdomen .. my knees my hip ... my chest ... I have been thru it many times , it is a bit close aka tight space but it isnt long and youll do fine
post #9 of 28
I had one for my back and it's a little uncomfortable. Plus I have back issues where my nerves are pushed against bu stuff, causing my legs to go numb. They went numb during the MRI and I started twitching and they had to stop so I could wake my legs up and stop the twitching! I didn't like it and I had to close my eyes because the top of the tunnel is RIGHT above your nose...I had to breathe deep and talk myself out of it. They put a blanket on me so i was warm enough because it gets cold in that room. I actually did drift off for a few minutes and jerked awake. I thought I moved too much but it was ok.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany
That is, you personally. I go for one on Saturday afternoon to have both of my knees scanned. They didn't want to do it in an open MRI so I will be stuck in the "tube" for about an hour.

Has anyone had one done and what was the experience like? Any advice you can give me?

The doctor thinks it is either a torn meniscus (in both knees), or my old knee cap injury gone ugly. I'm hoping the former as the surgery for that is relatively easy. The alternatives for bad knee caps are limited and most likely require full knee replacement surgery. I hear a 1 year lay up for the latter (yikes).

I'm beginning to sweat bullets.

The only good thing is that I'm relieved of litter scooping duties - I can't kneel down to scoop right now. Hubby isn't thrilled, as that is a duty we usually share.
It's not bad. I keep my eyes closed. They will usually put your favorite radio station on for you. They also have a fan sending air through. Good luck. I wouldn't worry about it!!!
post #11 of 28
Hi, I've been an MR technologist for 18 years. Knees are one of the easier exams for the patient. Your head should not go into the bore (tube) and that makes it eaiser. It is actually boring for the patient after the newness of the situation wears off. The noise is really loud white noise, like a vacuum cleaner or washing machine, so it can be mesmerizing unless you have a high sensitivity to noise.
Try to relax and focus on your breathing..slow breath in, slow breath out. When people are scared they start breathing fast and shallow, oxygen level goes down and anxiety level goes up...so breathe, nice and easy. Think about all you have to do for the holidays, this can take your mind off of the exam, or if that only makes you anxious, think of someplace pleasant to be. Any diversion is good, either good or bad, but positive is always nicer.

Each knee should take about 20 to 25 minutes. MRI's are a series of scans that run from 2 to 5 minutes each, every facility varies according to their protocol. Some patients do not want to see where they are so they want the eye mask, others are terrified not to know where they are, they want nothing on their face. Some people like music, some hate it, there's earplugs if you don't want music or dislike headphones. There is an intercom, the technologist can talk to you and can hear you when you talk. If you want them to talk to between each 2-5 minute scan, let them know that. Most manufacturer's provide a "squeeze ball", an air pressure activated alarm the patient can hold and use if necessary. It's a security blanket if nothing else and gets the technologist's attention if you think they can't hear you.

Some doctors refuse to have their patients get open MRI's because they are generally inferior machines with a low field strength magnet that produce images with poorer resolution (quality) and longer scan times. You're fortunate to have a doctor who knows this.

Many patients have well meaning friends and family who have told them horror stories about MRI's and are relieved to find it is pretty easy after all the hype they have heard. I hope you have a good first experience and get a compassionate technologist that makes you comfortable, that can make all the difference. Don't hesitate to let them know your concerns and ask any questions you need answered before the exam. Good luck and let me know how the experience was for you.
post #12 of 28
Had two of them done. I didn't like either one. I'm exteremly claustrophic so it was hard to deal with something being so close to my face and body. They gave me a cloth to put over my face though and it helped. No music though I'd have liked that. Mine took two hours each. I'd prefer not to have to do them again, personally.
But your's should be cake, because your head will be outside the tube. The only thing might be that you'll be BORED!!!!! Maybe you can take in a book or something.
Good luck and I hope everything turns out great!!!!!!!
post #13 of 28
I've had 2, but they were MRI's of my head. The second one last an hour and a half! I'm not very claustrophobic, so it was ok if I kept my eyes closed most of the time.

Just be sure you don't move while it's going on. Or they might need to do it over again!

I'm not too sure but I think the machine just goes over the body part being checked. So it might just be over your legs.

Good luck with your MRI.
post #14 of 28
The last time I had an MRI (for my head), I was prescribed Valium but I found that having the "panic button" or squeeze ball jean-ji spoke of made me feel much more at ease. Also, having my eyes covered really helped.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thank you EVERYONE for your experiences. I think I'm more nervous right now on what they will find with the MRI than anything else. I need to know but still afraid of it. My husband and I want to do a rim to rim hike across the Grand Canyon one day, and if my knees are damaged, it's not going to happen. I'm hoping this is something easy to fix, or something that isn't going to explode in my knees someday and make that hike impossible.
post #16 of 28
I've had many of them. I've only had my head done....I'm epileptic. It's kind of boring.
post #17 of 28
I probably shouldn't tell you this, Amy but I did freak I had my head looked at so they put in in this hockey mask and strap you in. I was so embarrassed but they assured me that it happens tons of times. I told them open MRI or nothing. My doctor did tell me that the open MRIs were not as good but I didn't care. In my opinion if your head is not going in the tube you should be fine. I refused to be doped up, too. I'm certain that would have made all the difference in the world.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Just got home from it. My head was in the tube up to my eyeballs so I could look around. They gave me earplugs for the noise - it was loud. It was only 20 minutes per knee with a break in between knees so it went pretty fast.

I was going to try to sleep but the first set of beeps came on and I couldn't help but think of the opening rift on Led Zeppelin's Communication Breakdown. It put music in my head which I couldn't get out. Another set of beeps had me humming the song from the Wizard of Oz - the one where the witches soldiers are marching to "ho e ho....ho OO ho". The last set of beeps returned to Communication Breakdown on amphetamines. Amazing where your head goes to when you are bored.

The right knee really tingled when they were doing it - to the point that it caused a knee-jerk reflex reaction - so I'm thinking that I've got some fluid on that knee. It's the one that hurts more than the other anyway.

The radiologist is going to read the results on Monday and I'm going to swing by to pick up the report. The technician wasn't sharing what she saw (or didn't see). My doctor is betting torn meniscus. I'm still thinking its the backside of the patella.
post #19 of 28
I'm interested to read your experience with MRI, Momofmany! I don't know if you know, but I have a long standing knee problem too and am presently awaiting an appointment with a new Consultant and a possible MRI - and I'm as worried as you are!

I really hope that there is something more simple that may have been missed, that they can help you with! I know how worrying the idea of replacement is!

Good luck with the results and thank you for letting me know that the experience is more boring than scary!

Sending lots of }}}VIBES{{{ for 'good' results on Monday!

'good' meaning not horrible surgery, but a brilliant solution to the problem!
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar
I don't know if you know, but I have a long standing knee problem too and am presently awaiting an appointment with a new Consultant and a possible MRI - and I'm as worried as you are!
Some advice if you go for yours: I was tense when they put me in for the first knee scan and I wasn't in a terribly comfortable position. They propped up my right knee on a raised tube and the left knee was in a U-shaped device. I had the foot on my right leg tensed and pulling straight up, my left leg was too stiff, and my lower back was too arched. Since you have to stay perfectly still for 20 minutes, it got uncomfortable about halfway thru. On the second knee, I found a really comfortable position to start and the second knee went a lot smoother. When they clamp your knee in, just relax - it's really just boring.

Let me know how yours progresses please! We can commiserate together!
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany
Some advice if you go for yours: I was tense when they put me in for the first knee scan and I wasn't in a terribly comfortable position. They propped up my right knee on a raised tube and the left knee was in a U-shaped device. I had the foot on my right leg tensed and pulling straight up, my left leg was too stiff, and my lower back was too arched. Since you have to stay perfectly still for 20 minutes, it got uncomfortable about halfway thru. On the second knee, I found a really comfortable position to start and the second knee went a lot smoother. When they clamp your knee in, just relax - it's really just boring.

Let me know how yours progresses please! We can commiserate together!
Thank you very much for the advice - when I go for mine, I will be sure to reread it!

When you say they clamp it and put it in a U-shaped device, do they have to bend it a lot?

Of course I will let you know how it goes and yes, I think we will commiserate together!! We can have our own knee support group!
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar
When you say they clamp it and put it in a U-shaped device, do they have to bend it a lot?
No - the knee itself is elevated perhaps 6-8 inches (sorry, don't know what that is in metric) and it is long enough that you knee only has a little bend to it. It was like propping your knee up with a very large pillow, but the device is firm so it holds your entire calve up to the same level as your knee. The foot dangled off the end.
post #23 of 28
Hi,
If it is any consolation my 80yr old aunt had her second knee replacement op in Sept. She is driving again and regularly walks two miles to the shops. Hope your results are as good.
Best wishes
Anne
post #24 of 28
Just try not to fret about it too much. Worry about it when the time comes, and get it over-with. Everybody said it's not scary, so I'll take their word for it and say it cannot be that bad! Good luck, best wishes. You will do fine.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany
No - the knee itself is elevated perhaps 6-8 inches (sorry, don't know what that is in metric) and it is long enough that you knee only has a little bend to it. It was like propping your knee up with a very large pillow, but the device is firm so it holds your entire calve up to the same level as your knee. The foot dangled off the end.
Ah, that's good to know! (yes, I understand inches, we're still pretty mixed up here and use both! )

It actually sounds like it'll be pretty comfortable for me - as I have to sleep with my leg in about the same position!

You're getting your results today, aren't you?! Sening lots of Good News }}}VIBES{{{ your way! Do let us know how it goes!
post #26 of 28
I noticed that you haven posted yet regarding your results!! I truely hope that they were much better than you expected!

Sending as many 'Healthy knees' and 'Good Diagnosis' }}}VIBES{{{ your way!!

....plus lots of to keep you going!
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar
I noticed that you haven posted yet regarding your results!! I truely hope that they were much better than you expected!

Sending as many 'Healthy knees' and 'Good Diagnosis' }}}VIBES{{{ your way!!

....plus lots of to keep you going!
Stopped by to pick up the radiology report on the way home from work yesterday and got caught up in a traffic jam when they closed down a major highway here (suicide attempt in a hotel room that made the news - why they closed the highway is beyond me) - didn't get home until very late last night!

I have an appointment with my doctor on Friday to hear his interpretation. The things listed on the radiology report all point to degenerative arthritus - no torn meniscus (thank heavens for google search). Everything from cysts to bruises to inflamed marrow to osteophytes - all behind the kneecap on the femoral side (top by the thigh bone). The one scary thing was something about a "bone island" which is typically a benign tumor but in rare cases is malignant.

So, basically a lot of weird stuff in both my knees and neither has exactly the same problem. Treatment varies from physical therapy to injections to anti-inflamatories and possible surgery. My Friday appointment will tell me which way he wants to take this.
post #28 of 28
How odd that they closed the Highway?!

Gosh, they certainly like to blind you with science, don't they?! At least you'll get a better interpretation on Friday! Hopefully that will be able to tell you more about the required treatment!

The bone island does sound scary, but as you say it's generally benign and I'm sure that this will be the case for you too!

At least they managed to see a lot of what was going on, so they can give you a good analysis of what is going on in there!!

Good luck for Friday, I hope you get all the answers and explanations you need! I'll be thinking of you!
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