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A 48-year-old female asked:

should my doctor have ordered mri? i have a history of back problems. i went to see my doctor and told him that the pain in my back was "different" and much more severe than in the past and i told him that i thought i should have an mri. he refused and

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mary Engrav
Dr. Mary Engrav answered
Emergency Medicine 31 years experience
That : That is a difficult question. Osteomyelitis is a very rare condition. It is very difficult to diagnose by examination. The bacteria grow slowly in the bone, so it is hard to know if the area would have been seen on an MRI four weeks prior. It would be interesting to know if you had a fever at the original appointment or if you have a history of past spinal procedures or risk factors for osteomyelitis. If you had new severe pain, fever, history of past spinal procedures, risk factors for osteomyelitis, or neurologic changes like leg weakness then an MRI would have been appropriate.
Dr. Audie Rolnick
Orthopedic Surgery 40 years experience
Your md?: If this is your regular md he should no your history and back issues. If you have any medical history it might be important to know. I would certainly think that if the pain is much more severe, different in character than you are accustomed , than an MRI might be in order. Have you had one before? Any cancer history? Hopefully your md knows you and will make right call. Second opinion?

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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