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Getting an MRI?

terrywerm

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#1
Due to a work injury a few weeks back, I have to get an MRI of my shoulder. While setting up the appointment I was asked a few questions about my current occupation and any pins, screws, or stents that I might have in me, etc.

Finally she said, "I almost forgot! Have you done any welding or grinding, for work or hobby, in the last ten years?"

I responded that I had and she indicated that I also have to get an eye x-ray prior to the MRI. The results would be horrible if I had any iron in my eye and underwent an MRI!

So, if you are getting an MRI done and they forget to ask about grinding or welding, please be sure to speak up!
 

Superburban

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#2
Very good point. The VA has a checklist the doc has to fill out when requesting an MRI, and then when you get there, they have it on paper that you need to fill out. Unless I have had an xray, or MRI recently, I answer yes to the metal working question. Especially when it concerns the eyes, its better safe then sorry. One of the brain MRI's I got, I forgot to take my wedding band off. its suposed to be titanium, I know a magnet does not attract to it, but the MRI, sure made it warm.
 

Billh50

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#3
That.s one thing I don't have to worry about. Can't have ann MRI. Have an old pacemaker from 1961, A new one 2yrs old, 3 stents and wires in my chest from heart operation in 1961. So basically I am battery operated because my heart relies on the pacemaker 100%.
 

Groundhog

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#4
Have had several MRIs and have never been asked about metal working or grinding. Guess I'd better take it on myself to remind them!
 

ddickey

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#5
I've had probably 20 MRI's. So far I've never had a problem. I've only had one since starting to learn machining. Didn't even think about that. Thanks for the reminder.
Wouldn't you know if you had iron in your eye though?
 

FLguy

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#6
My cervical spine is fused with 6 screws,4 pins, 4 disc,and 1 plate, all titanium. MRI tech. asked, I said yes, they said OK but that area will get warm, let us know if uncomfortable. Ya, it was very warm.
 

rwm

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#7
They are always supposed to ask about possible metal in the eye. If you are a machinist you could have a small sliver and not notice it. The theoretical risk is that it could move within the eye and cause an injury. If it shows up on xray they will not put you in the magnet. In many cases you could probably get away with it but they will not take the risk. I guess if you knew for sure it was titanium or aluminum it would be OK but that is hard to prove.
RWM
 

tq60

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#8
Mr I works by exciting the iron in your body via very strong magnetic fields.

We have an old book from the 40 s full of popular science projects and one is a device to levitate an aluminum disk that is basically a 500 ft hardware store roll of number 12 wire plugged into the wall outlet and a disk of aluminum that being a conductor will charge and become a magnet due to the current flow.

Remember any conductor moving related to a magnetic field will have an electric charge.

Magnetic materials may move while any conductor can become charged and depending on shape become energized or magnetic.
 

Superburban

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#9
[QUOTE="ddickey, post: 528331, member: 41842"
Wouldn't you know if you had iron in your eye though?[/QUOTE]

About 3 years ago, the eye doc said I had a rust spot in my eye. Appearently I got a spec in my eye from grinding, and it stuck in the eye and slowly rusted away. Its all gone now, but the doc says he can see the little spot where it stuck in the eye. I kind of remember it happening, but the pain went away right away, so I never gave it any thought, until the eye exam.
 

woodchucker

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#10
Due to a work injury a few weeks back, I have to get an MRI of my shoulder. While setting up the appointment I was asked a few questions about my current occupation and any pins, screws, or stents that I might have in me, etc.

Finally she said, "I almost forgot! Have you done any welding or grinding, for work or hobby, in the last ten years?"

I responded that I had and she indicated that I also have to get an eye x-ray prior to the MRI. The results would be horrible if I had any iron in my eye and underwent an MRI!

So, if you are getting an MRI done and they forget to ask about grinding or welding, please be sure to speak up!
I'm getting an MRI monday morn, same deal. Orbital Xtray ... That's so the metal doesn't go ripping through your eyeballs.
 

RJSakowski

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#11
An iron sliver in the cornea will hurt like hell. I had one many years ago and an intern at the ER tried removing it with a hypodermic needle. He said he got it but the pain was still there. Out of desperation, I held a large horseshoe magnet close to my eyeball and pulled it out. Later, an ophthalmologist advised me to never use a magnet fear of twisting the sliver and hooking it doing further damage.

Foreign object are not likely to be as painful outside of the cornea. They may feel like a slight irritation which you become used to over time. Additionally, tissue can form over the object further diminishing the pain.

My advice, if you're going for an MRI and you've worked with steel/iron, get the x-ray.
 

RJSakowski

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#13
The MRI doesn't detect iron in the body. It detects hydrogen. It is an imaging device using nuclear magnetic resonance or NMR, discovered in the 1930's but not used for medical imaging until the late 1970's

MRI flips the spinning protons (hydrogen nucleus) an detects the resonant frequency when they flip back. The protons have slightly different frequencies depending on how they are chemically bound and the MRI uses that to distinguish between fat hydrogen, water hydrogen, etc. I5t is this ability to differentiate the different chemistries of the hydrogen containing molecules that make it so useful in diagnosing soft tissue issues.

Magnets used for MRI are usually superconducting electromagnets operating at field strengths of .5 to 8 tesla. A tesla is 10,000 gauss and the Earth's magnetic field is about .5 gauss in comparison. Rare earth magnets can generate field strengtnhs approaching that of the MRI magnet but on a much smaller scale. It is the combination of the high field strength and the large field size that makes the MRI elecromagnet so dangerous in the presence of ferrous metal.

Enough of the medical physics lecture. Let's get back to machining! 1510778802906.png
 

JPigg55

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#14
Sorry to hear about the injury Terry, what happened if you don't mind sharing ???
I've had multiple MRI's over the past 12 years due to my back. I've been surprised that they haven't asked about performing any metalworking before the last few, just asked if I had any metal implants.
I have remembered from them asking on the first few and have made sure not to do any work in my shop or elsewhere else a couple weeks before any MRI to allow my body time to rid itself of any chips/slivers. An X-ray has always been required prior to any of my MRI's as well, although they only X-ray the area in question and not the entire body.
 

kvt

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#15
Yea, They even delayed one of my MRIs one time because they didnt have any one to do the Eye check. but they have never done an xray prior. Prob 20 plus MRIs, they ask a bout metal, and get the Plate etc in the cervical spine, and staple in the shoulder. Last xray they said they could not find the staple in my shoulder, And a few back I remember an MRI tech asking if I had some metal in my knee as it was getting a funny reading like they get from metal. I think I know where it went then.
Hope your shoulder gets better and take care of it. Mil doc told me back in 80 that I needed shoulder worked on, He moved, and the next bunch just sent me to Pain and torture and a bottle of Motron. They did that for the next 20 years, THen finally when I could no longer pick up a phone they said well maybe we have a problem. WHen they did the MRI they said Oh this is going to hurt when we pump it full of fluid, They started and I said it felt better, They went Oh sh** we are in trouble.
 

terrywerm

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#18
Long story short I fell inside a trailer at work about a month ago and wrenched my right arm up around and behind my head in the process. I reported the fall but figured I only pulled a muscle or something, so did not go to the doctor. After four weeks with little improvement I figured it was time to get it checked out. Luckily, there does not seem to be any damage to the muscles that make up the rotator cuff, but my doc thinks I tore one of the ligaments that attaches my biceps to my shoulder which will require surgery to repair it and get rid of the pain. I guess we'll know more next week.
 

owl

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#19
I had an MRI and they asked about my profession. Concerned, I told them that I was a hobby machinist. They, at that time, said they only worried about professional ones... it turned out OK, but it was a bit spooky.
 

woodchucker

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#21
I had an MRI and they asked about my profession. Concerned, I told them that I was a hobby machinist. They, at that time, said they only worried about professional ones... it turned out OK, but it was a bit spooky.
They were not very knowledgable, why would it matter , metal in the eye can happen to an infrequent user or frequent user. Find another imaging center or hospital.
 

rwm

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#23
Terry- Good luck with your shoulder. Hope you can get back to turning handles with no pain!
RJ - That's a really great summary of the concepts.

My favorite part is when they quench:


If it is a humid day the entire surrounding area can get covered with light snow!

Robert
 
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wawoodman

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#24
I've had more than a few; one just last week. A few years ago was the first time they asked me about metal. I had to get x-rays to be sure the eyes were clean.
 

JPigg55

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#25
Shoulder injuries can be a real pain (pun intended, LOL) !!!
I partially dislocated my right shoulder as a teenager during PE in High School.
The Hospital X-rayed my shoulder (before the days of MRI's) and then they put my shoulder back in. Hurt like heck for over a year afterwards.
I had trouble with it most of my adult life. One day, my shoulder locked and I couldn't move it. Went for more X-rays and an MRI.
Turned out that when I had the partial dislocation, it had caused a chip in my ball joint bone that didn't show on the x-ray. Over the years, it would calcify trying to heal, but would chip off again. All these bone fragments had worked their way down through my shoulder socket causing more damage exacerbating the problem.
Had surgery where the Doc said "I took a shot glass full of bone fragments out of your shoulder socket".
Good thing you had it looked at.
 

terrywerm

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#26
Turning handles is okay, but lifting a cup of coffee at arms length is impossible. Putting on a tee shirt is a bear and putting on a jacket is tough too. Getting in and out of the semi or the excavator are tricky but doable. Handling a shovel or similar is out of the question. I am looking forward to when it's all over and done with.
 

woodchucker

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#27
Sounds like a rotator. I've had both shoulders rebuilt. One was a rotator full tear the other was 3 tears in the cartilage from a motorcycle accident.
 
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