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Author Topic: How long to get an MRI  (Read 3018 times)

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Offline jane77

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How long to get an MRI
« on: June 09, 2010, 10:39:41 AM »
Hi All,   I have been waiting for an MRI for 3 years now.  At the first appt I was told to come back etc if it troubled me. Dr was so rude and horrible I forced myself through the pain and gradually learnt to manage the knee.

Then this latest injury to same knee and although Dr was nice about it -  he still did not order an MRI. I was just told to come back in 2 months if not better etc

Is this normal? It seems a very long time to wait for an MRI.  Knee xrays are not showing much.  I am frightened that I am doing more damage by continueing to push through the pain.

Offline Clarkey

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  • Neil TheElephant knee packed up carrying his trunk
Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 02:40:22 PM »
Hi There,

3 years for an MRI scan is far too long to wait and even if you live in the UK and are using the NHS 3 years is a long time. You have the right to have an MRI done on your knee if it is causing you pain and discomfort it needs investigating before it gets any worse then it has already.

I only had to wait a couple of weeks for my MRI on the NHS and provided a good service. If you can afford to have a private MRI done then go for it as the prices have fallen over the last couple as years, so not as expensive as it use to be.

Nick :) {2010} :)
RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming

Offline jane77

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Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2010, 04:16:01 AM »
This is Private and I will be paying anyway. I just don't get it.  He tests the knee in his clinic and bends it and then tells me its not too bad, and to come back later if I want to...   I really would like to know what is wrong as I am not sure that pushing the PT on pain meds is a good idea. Why not MRI it anyway?  He is supposed the be the best which is why I went to him but why stall me like this ?  I feel the tear was small to begin with and now seems much bigger. Grr ! >:(  Do these 'top' OS choose the patients that are going to be 'easy' and 'successful' for THEM ?

Offline Clarkey

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  • Neil TheElephant knee packed up carrying his trunk
Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2010, 11:16:41 AM »
I found that MRI's are not always very accurate as my came up fairly normal but when the OS looked inside my knee found an inflammed fat pad and had to remove the medial plica that was so large it was rubbing against my bone.

You could always go and see another OS if you are no happy with your present one as he/she may look at your knee problem in a different way. Some OS are reluctant to go ahead with an MRI or a scope if they think your knee is ok, only the patient can feel the knee pain and has to put up with it daily.

Nick :) {2010} :)
RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming

Offline jane77

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Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2010, 08:43:48 AM »
Well - I still think its weird to not even try to look inside my knee. Its as if my pain doesn't matter. How will he know its a normal MRI if he doesn't even look?  I pay - so what;s the issue ? My lack of mobility doesn't matter? My whole lifestyle ruined ?   My knee cap is throbbing right now and all I did was walk about 100m today browsing shop windows. With a stick. I am trying not to use crutches.  Am I supposed to use crutches forever? How long does everyone need to use crutches before an OS takes you seriously?   I have been using crutches and sticks for 3 months now and on and off for 3 years.  This time it feels worse.


Not easy to change OS. Not even easy to repeatedly get to appts.  I live a long way away and have no one that can drive me there. Last appt was 5 mins after taking 4 hours to get there and 4 hours to get home. I need another referral to change OS, and then have to wait a waiting period of approx 3 months.  I was told this OS was good. Maybe he is only good cos he picks the easy patients. Maybe I should change. This guy is a jerk. Never trust what a nurse tells you about an OS!


Offline Lottiefox

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Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2010, 10:43:35 AM »
Hi Jane

Clearly you need some form of further investigation. It isn't normal to be using a stick or crutch without a known reason. Have you formally requested an MRI through this current OS? If you're paying - tell him you want one and get him to book it/refer you whilst you are in there. Are you UK based? If you are self funding your treatment surely you can just refer yourself to a different OS? As Nick says, an MRI can miss things but its a sensible first step to investigate long standing problems. I was sent for one after my knee issues hadn't resolved with 3 months of conservative treatment, so 3 years is way too long.

One final thing - you say this current guy is a jerk. I wouldn't let anyone that I thought was a jerk ever get near my knee with a surgical instrument. Personally - I'd be pushing for a different opinion....

Hope things improve

Lottie  :)
Bilateral patella OA since 2009, no surgeries.
Euflexxa working well x3 to current
Right forefoot CRPS post fusion surgery 2011
Refusing to let the ailing parts stop me....

Offline tez27

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Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2010, 11:08:38 AM »
Jane sorry for your pain but its that old story of a lot of doctors just dont care enough or just cant be bothered or just dont take you seriously, I had the same problem I was back and forward to my gp for approx 6 months after my knee injury untill eventually after the physio who I had been sent to asked my doc to refer me for a mri, and even though it did'nt show up my acl rupture at least I felt that I was being taken seriously,
My advice is to get another doctor or if that is not going to work because of where you live etc then keep going back and make a pest of yourself untill you wear him down  a few tears may help  :'( Its not right that you should have to do any of these things but your priority is getting something done about your knee.
Take care Tez
L K injured 25th June 2008
scope Jan 5th 10
diagnosis ACL rupture
fiberous band excised from acl
ACLr July 19th 2010  scope on 24th Sept 2011
ACL has failed incorrect tunnel placement
23rd July 2012 1st stage of a 2 stage ACL revision
10th May 2013 2nd stage ACL revision

Offline jane77

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Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2010, 11:14:30 AM »
I agree. This guy is not my style. Instead of one visit to get a MRI, I now will have to suffer the pain of 8 hours travel again ... and again...

And now have to start all over again to find another OS , get the referral etc. All I wanted was an MRI!!!! So I might even 'begin' to know what was happening. If there is a fracture and I need 6 months on crutches - OK. But I need to know ! People ask me what is wrong. They see the crutches. I say "I don't know" OS wants me to wait another 2 months before an MRI....after 3 years...

Tonight the knee has shifted again and have had to ice it. The meds are barely controlling it. All I can do is sit in an armchair. Surely there must be 'something' that can be done ???? How do you find a good OS ? Would a knee only OS be better than a shoulder, hip, knee OS ? Even if the Hosp was only a sports hospital with no Endocrinologist or Neurologist or Respiratory Physician on staff ?

I should add - I am very worried about the other knee and hip. They are feeling the strain.  I have been using a stick more but perhaps need to keep on the crutches ??






« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 11:23:49 AM by jane77 »

Offline tez27

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Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2010, 11:19:08 AM »
maybe if you post where you live someone could suggest a good O.S in your area.
L K injured 25th June 2008
scope Jan 5th 10
diagnosis ACL rupture
fiberous band excised from acl
ACLr July 19th 2010  scope on 24th Sept 2011
ACL has failed incorrect tunnel placement
23rd July 2012 1st stage of a 2 stage ACL revision
10th May 2013 2nd stage ACL revision

Offline Cosmicsnuffle

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Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2010, 11:59:51 AM »
If you are UK based and paying for your own private care you don't need to get a GP referral, can choose who you see (based on location as well experience) and will most probably be seen for an initial consultation within a week, so you don't need to have to wait for a referral or a waiting list.

I had a private consultation for a second opinion - called on a thursday and had an appointment a 9am the following Monday.

It is also possible to pay for an MRI through your private OS, or there are companies who specialise in just providing and interpreting MRIs for as little as 250 (http://www.uk-radiology.co.uk/2.html), so again you can pretty much choose when and where this would happen.

Depending on the report you can then make a decision of what course of action to take.


If you are not paying privately and are in the UK (NHS) then I would suggest going back to your GP to explain how you feel and how much your knee is affecting you life, and to seek their opinion on what can be done next to move towards improving your situation. Your GP can apply pressure to the OS to investigate further, or refer you to an alternative OS. If you are really unhappy with your NHS OS then it is worth changing - and presenting your 3 year history as leverage to be prioritised.

I know it is terribly frustrating - many on KG have been in similar situations .... the good news is that you do have choices but you need to be pro-active, positive and assertive to seek out information in order to navigate your way through them ..... be prepared to be politely persistent until you feel you are being listened to!

Good luck!

Oct 04 - torn meniscus
Dec 05 meniscal trim and debridement
Sep 09 torn ACL, kissing contusions, knee locked 30-60o
Jan 10 ACL stump debrided, lateral parrot beak meniscal tear trimmed
May 10 ACLr (Hamstring)
Aug 11 mfx (focal lesion lateral femoral condyle)
Jun 14 100k walk London-Brighton 28hrs

Offline Clarkey

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  • Neil TheElephant knee packed up carrying his trunk
Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2010, 01:00:32 PM »
Hi Jane,

I think in your situation you OS should at least scope your knee as there clearly something wrong inside your knee and needs investigating internally. You should not have to put up with your knee problem and would look at the list of OS's recommended on KG list of OS's in your region. My OS was reluctant to go ahead with my scope even though he located where the pain was and suggested surgery might be needed if cortisone injection did not work and it did not help, so had to scope my knee.

Keep pushing until you get somewhere, and find an OS that willing to help you out, thats more understanding.

Nick :) {2010} :)
RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming

Offline owen13

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Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2010, 01:32:41 PM »
hi jane,
as cosmic snuffle said you could pay to get an mri, there are several places out there that do it for under 300.
i went to vista diagnostics in london. my gp would not refer me to a specialist last year so i got a physio to fill out the refferal form and i travelled to london and had he mri done within a week. the results were back in 3 to 4 days. a word of caution though, if you do get someone other than the os to refer you make sure you show the os the results. i was told by my physio that the scan was clear and when i showed it to the os he said i had hoffa pad impingement.
cheers owen

Offline jane77

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Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2010, 12:17:37 AM »
The OS did not even want to scope the knee 3 years ago as he said I could get a clot again.  I took an MRI with me but he flew off his handle cos it had not been done at 'his' place and he said the quality was poor. ( this place was the only one my GP can use)  That MRI showed a meniscus tear but the OS said he did not believe it.

If I change to another OS it will be another GP referral and start all over again -so a 3 month wait as a new patient etc for the new OS. 

GP cannot order the MRI except at the place already mentioned which did the poor quality one.

I went to the OS again after this recent injury as I wanted an MRI. But he still is stalling.  I was a bit cross that an 8 hour trip turned intoa  5 min appt and was just told to come back again for the MRI later. I will try ringing up and see what his secretary can do.  ::)

I can't help wondering if there is a bone chip or something in there. The pain is worse when weight is on it.  I can bend it ( sort of ) OK but now of course there is so much inflammation that nothing is showing up.  I always maintain that the fall I had 3 years ago ( fell onto patella on slate floor in middle of night after tripping ) may have cracked my patella.  Even now I can feel it sort of 'moving' funny.

I have a name of a good OS from my old physio.  I just went with what the nurse told me - and she said she would not take her dog to that hosp ( infection issues) but now I wonder if she is wrong and my physio is right.   Physio has moved but I may try her old mobile # and see if I can find her for a chat.  I know that OS and Hosp was where she had hers done - she told me she would let no other OS in our state touch her knee - so maybe that says it all?

Offline Clarkey

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Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2010, 03:58:20 PM »
Hi Jane,

If you have inflamation then it sometimes can affect the MRI result and can come up normal. This happened to my Brother in Law, he had his 1st MRI and it came up normal, had a 2nd MRI and it showed a torn meniscus.

Its now time to find another OS and would look into seeing the one your of physio recommended. You should have priority and should see another OS as your present one does not seem to be willing to help you out. Should be able to see another OS sooner, if you explain the situation you are in.

Nick :) {2010} :)

RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming

Offline jane77

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Re: How long to get an MRI
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2010, 03:10:01 AM »
Yes - this will be the plan.   I wish he had been honest enough to tell me he did not wish me as his patient when my injury first happened. He just kept asking in a manic voice if I was healthy or not. I guess I should have worked it out then what he was thinking,  but didn't. The patella has shifted slightly again and feels a little more normal today but the cyst feels worse. I have no idea how long this inflammation will last but I will start making the steps to the second OS.  In the meantime my Dr can do Prolotherapy and that may work anyway ! 

As someone told me - maybe this Dr has had problems in the past with patients with Factor V Leiden and lacks the skills to medicate around FVL issues.  Perhaps he wants 'easy' patients only ( despite being considered the top OS )...  I wish we could leave feedback like ebay !