5 Most Common Myths About MRIs & X-Rays

5 Most Common Myths About MRIs & X-Rays

Please note that this page is mainly for my personal reference. My notes from viewing YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZx7-3yIgOg

Debunking most common myths about MRIs and X-Rays.

Myth One: Imaging shows the cause of pain. Abnormalities are common with people without symptoms. eg 30% of people have meniscual tears without pain. Asymptomatic changes are common – are-related just like wrinkles in the skin. Sometimes imaging finds abnormalities that were present prior to person experiencing pain.

Myth Two: Imaging predicts outcomes. Just because you have a large disc herniation doesn’t mean that your recovery will be longer than someone with a smaller herniation. Also joint damage on an x-ray does not show osteoarthritis would impact you. Be careful of words – nocieption is real.

Myth Three: If you fix the image, you fix the pain. Not always that simple. eg O’Connor 2022 – “Arthroscopic surgery provides little or no clinically important benefit in pain or function, probably does not provide clinically important benefits in knee‐specific quality of life, and may not improve treatment success compared with a placebo procedure.”

Myth Four: Imaging dictates rehab. Two people can have same diagnosis based on imaging but that does not take into account age, health, lifestyle, goals, etc. Imaging may point us in right direction.

Myth Five: Imaging never matters. Need imaging for red-flags eg bone breaks, cancer, infection, cauda equina.

Overuse of imaging may lead to unnecessary expenditure, increased (unnecessary) worry, unneeded treatments and worse outcomes.

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