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What to Know About MRIs and Herniated Disc Claims in Waldorf, MD

If you suffered a back injury as a result of a car accident, it is possible you have a herniated disc. Standard x-rays only show certain aspects of your back, and your physician may order you to undergo an MRI. Some people are concerned about having an MRI done, or have claustrophobia, causing them even more anxiety.

Here is what you need to know about MRIs and how they related to your potential herniated disc.

What is an MRI?

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, and it is a test that utilizes powerful radio waves, magnets, and a computer that composes detailed photos of your body. Unlike CT scans and X-rays, there is no radiation involved with an MRI. Your physician may order one to help diagnose an injury, especially if you have not responded to treatment.

The machine utilizes a magnetic field, and metal-based devices can cause issues during the test. This could mean issues if you have:

  • Fillings
  • Pacemaker
  • Metal fragments, like shrapnel or a bullet
  • Pins or screws
  • Artificial heart valve
  • Body piercings or permanent body implants
  • Some tattoos (some inks contain metal)

What is a Herniated Disc?

Sometimes referred to as a “slipped disc,” a herniated disc is a common injury. Discs function much like cushions between your bones, and the jelly-like center has an outer case that helps keep it all aligned. A herniated disc happens when the case begins deteriorating or tears, causing the soft inside to start to bulge out.

Herniated discs can cause all sorts of issues, including pain in your legs and feet, which is often caused by the herniated disc putting pressure on your sciatic nerve. This can cause excruciating pain down one or both sides of your body and keep you from being active or even being able to walk without pain in some instances.

Treatment for a herniated disc typically starts with medication that will help the inflammation, coupled with physical therapy. You may be administered steroid injections in some instances as well. If no conservative treatments work, your physician may recommend more invasive treatment or even surgery. While more invasive treatment can raise the value of your injury claim, this should never be the basis for why you seek additional treatment.

Benefits of MRI

The main benefit of having an MRI is that it can show your physician exactly where your pain is coming from, giving them a better picture of how to treat your current pain. In addition, an MRI can uncover serious problems that you may not even realize were ongoing.

X-rays show the outline of bone structures whereas the MRI can provide a doctor with multi-dimensional cross-sections of your soft tissue, which gives them much more detail.

Some herniated discs are not caused by a vehicle accident; they can occur as we get older. Therefore, it is important that if you plan to pursue legal action for your Charles County motor vehicle accident, you need a doctor’s opinion that the herniated disc is related to the car accident and not the result of natural causes. In these instances, an MRI can be helpful to determine the cause of your pain.

Retaining a Maryland Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a Maryland motor vehicle accident, contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at 301-870-1200 to schedule a consultation. Let us help protect your interests and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.