Question: When are MRIs important/vital?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a comparatively new development which is an incredible breakthrough for certain circumstances – it is described in this Wikipedia article far better than we ever could.

One of our readers reports that, some years ago, after he started experiencing pain in one of his feet when he walked he saw three doctors about it all of  whom  turned out to be typical “waste of time and money” doctors – one told him to massage his foot in a certain way, which turned out to be exactly the wrong thing to do when it was found out what the true problem was, and another  said it was because his foot was flat, but his foot was exactly as it had been all his life, and the problem had only developed recently, and the foot was no flatter than his other one!

A fourth one said he should have an MRI done, saying that MRIs had all but taken the place of exploratory surgery, in other words, surgery to find out what the problem was, before possible surgery to fix the problem – and that was some years ago. From the MRI he was able to see that our reader had a ruptured tendon, and start treatment from there.

Another of our readers, suffering double vision, was referred to two different ophthalmologists who both also turned out to be quintessential “waste of time and money” doctors. During nearly 4 hours with them they kept saying how serious the causes of his double vision could be, brain cancer blah blah blah, how hard it was trying to work out what was going on, and that he would have to come back to see them time and again – and he learnt nothing. A third ophthalmologist took a couple of minutes to tell him that, in his circumstances it was incredibly unlikely that his double vision was due to anything serious, but, if he wanted to be sure, he could have an MRI of his brain, which he did, and it was clear.

With another of our readers, an MRI showed that his 7 year old child had a brain tumour the size of a mandarin. An optometrist, who had been consulted about the child’s sight, thought a brain tumour might have been the problem and the MRI confirmed it.  The thought of exploratory surgery on a child’s brain gives one the shudders.

One of the huge advantage of MRIs is that, where surgery is required , it gives surgeons such an accurate picture of what to prepare for – no doubt  contributing significantly to the fact that surgery on this child in this case seems to have been a complete success.

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