Early MRIs for Back and Leg Pains Unnecessary

Dr. Scott Boden explains how early MRI scans can possibly lead to overtreatment.
1:27 | 12/14/11

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Transcript for Early MRIs for Back and Leg Pains Unnecessary
Certainly getting an MRI too early is not a good idea for a couple of reasons. First. Most individuals have some thing that is abnormal on their MRI scan. Even if they've never had any symptoms of back pain her leg pain. And that happen to be a study that I authored back in 1990. In fact 13. Normal volunteers have herniated discs on their MRI scan even if they've never had leg pain. And by the time we get to be age 69. 2% of us have at least one -- level that is totally. Even though that group might not have ever had any back -- So MRI scans can provide a lot of information but out of context and when it doesn't correlate with clinical symptoms. He can potentially lead to over treatment. Another reason that you really don't want to get an MRI risky and too early. Is that often times that these leg pain situations get better on their own within eight to twelve weeks. And if they don't get better then that's when we might consider surgery. But if the MRI -- -- three months old because we got in on the first day of leg pain. Now you've got a surgeon that's potentially using an outdated piece of information. And so again the MRI scan is useful but. It's it's really not something that's necessary right at the start.

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