Stemcelldoc's Weblog

November 28, 2009

Pictures Dont Tell the Whole Story

Unfortunately there is large emphasis placed on MRI’s in the diagnosis and treatment of pain.

Radiographic studies are diagnostic tools which can assist in identifying a given patient’s pain when utilized in conjunction with a complete history and physical examination.  When viewed alone, MRI’s do not tell the whole story.

Consider the following:

Englund et al, in the New England Journal of Medicine, reported that 60% of patients with knee meniscus tears on MRI had no pain symptoms.

Matsumoto et al examined 497 patients WITHOUT pain and found the prevalence of degenerative disc disease to increase with age:  varied from 15% in patients who were in there 20’s to 86% in patients older than 60 years of age.

Jensen et al., conducted MRI’s of the lumbar spin in 98 patients WITHOUT back pain.  52% of the asymptomatic patients had a disc bulge.  MRI’s of the lumbar spine in patients WITHOUT back pain were normal in only 36%.

Diagnostic radiographic studies alone can not determine the source of a patient’s pain.  At the Centeno-Schultz Clinic we are committed to finding the source of a given patients pain by completing a thorough physical examination, history and review of radiographic studies.  Anything less is simply incomplete.

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