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CT vs MRI

Hi everybody, this is my 1st post so hope it makes sense. I have been having periods of numbness/burning sensation in my left arm for several years & in my left leg for about a year which I put down to the fact I have scoliosis. I then developed pain behind my left eye for a few days about 9 months ago, but most recently I’ve started having numbness down left side of nose & corner of upper lip. Seen my GP who arranged a Neurology referral, my appointment was last week & didn’t go well at all. I was given only the briefest of exams (if u could call it that) asked a couple of questions, including did I know anybody with MS, & was I worried it could be MS, then was told he thought it was a trapped nerve but would arrange brain & spine scan/s. It was that quick I didn’t get to ask whether it would be CT or MRI. My main questions are 1)If CT are any MS lesions likely to show? 2)If noted on scan referral that possible diagnosis is trapped nerve, would any suspicious lesions be noted in report. Thanks Sam

Hi Sam,

I would think he’s almost certainly referred you for MRI scans, if he’s asked for both brain and spine.

I very much doubt he would put a “possible diagnosis” on the scan referral (and I don’t see the point of a brainscan for a “trapped nerve” anyway - you can’t trap part of your brain - trap it where?)

But even if he did give radiography a hint what he was looking for, they’d still be obliged to report anything abnormal they saw, whether it backed up his guess or not.

I have said similar to somebody else recently: please don’t assume your appointment didn’t go well. It did, from the point of view that he didn’t dismiss you as “being silly”, and has arranged appropriate next steps. That is really the best that you can hope for out of a first appointment - you’re not going to get any firm answers at this stage.

Of course, I’m not denying it would be nice to get a neuro with a charming manner and all the time in the world. But don’t confuse how nice he is with how good he is - the two are not always linked.

The main concern for you at this point is to be taken seriously, and get appropriate onward investigations. I think both of those were achieved, so objectively, the appointment was a success, whether or not it lived up to your expectation of what an “ideal” appointment should be. Judge by outcome: you’re through to the next stage.

A bad outcome would have been: “Go home, I can’t find anything wrong with you!”

Tina

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Hi Tina, thanks for your quick reply & your advice. I know appointment could have ended with being sent home & being told “I can’t find anything wrong with you” & at least I’m getting scans which was the whole point of my GP referring me. I have not put full details of consultation as I’ve already spoken to my GP about it & am in the process of putting in a complaint. I know that great bedside manner doesn’t mean a great doctor as I’ve had dealings with many consultants due to my mother’s complex medical problems & there is 1 consultant who everyone thinks is a dragon, but is the best doctor I’ve ever dealt with. My concern apart from what I put in my 1st post, is I don’t know what happens after scan/s, whether I’ll be seen again or will report go back to my GP, who has been very helpful & is keeping an eye out for any reports. Thanks again, Sam

Hiya Sam it’s a worrying time for you at this stage, I can remember what it’s like and it’s not nice. Sorry your consultation didn’t go quite as you would have expected it go. I’ve seen a few different neuro’s over the years but my very first neuro was awful. Even after he diagnosed me with ppms, he still wasn’t helpful. You go to see them and you’re stressed out, worried & full of questions and the last thing you need is to feel either fobbed off, not believed even or you walk away from the appointment with more questions than you initially went in with. It’s not a nice feeling and I’m sorry you’re in this situation. The neuro you’ve seen though should get you back in to talk through the results & findings of your MRI scans. He’ll send a copy of them to your gp aswell since he referred you to neurology. It’s hard when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere but the fact he’s requested you to get these scans is a good thing. Obviously what happens next will depend on the results of your scans. You could possibly be discharged from neurology back to being under the care of your gp. If that happens, keep on at your gp with any new symptoms that may appear. It’s always helpful to have anything like that recorded in your notes and if things don’t improve or new things materialise, get back to your gp and you can get referred back to neurology for further investigation.

Its a long drawn out process unfortunately & at times you feel like you’re just going in circles or it’s Groundhog Day & you’re repeating yourself over and over again to the health professionals. I hope you don’t have to experience any of that though, but keep posting any questions you’ve got here. There’s always someone that can offer some sort of advice. We’ve all been there so we know what it’s like. Wishing you all the best :slight_smile: x

Just quick update, hadn’t received appointment for scan/s, so finally got through to consultant’s secretary after 2 weeks of trying, only to be told nothing has been arranged as there is no record, so she will need to email consultant, then radiology will contact me! I don’t know if I should laugh, cry or scream.

Oh, flipping nora Sam, I’d definitely be going for the screaming one, with lots of naughty words too. That is so unprofessional. Hugs are flying your way.

Paula

I am grrrrring on your behalf hun!

I was messed about for years by a variety of neuros and had my world turn upside down several times!

Perhaps you should be a speaking to the gp who referred you and say you’ve spoken the neuros sec and there’s no note of a scan in your notes and your neuros said he would order one.

Why on earth did he mention MS, when he thought it may be a trapped nerve!?!?

Sending you my support.

Luv Pollx

I am grrrrring on your behalf hun!

I was messed about for years by a variety of neuros and had my world turn upside down several times!

Perhaps you should be a speaking to the gp who referred you and say you’ve spoken the neuros sec and there’s no note of a scan in your notes and your neuros said he would order one.

Why on earth did he mention MS, when he thought it may be a trapped nerve!?!?

Sending you my support.

Luv Pollx

Thanks Paula, that was my reaction lol

Thanks Poll, it was GP who mentioned MS as a outside possibility, consultants opinion was trapped nerve, but was supposed to have referred me for scan/s!

Remember, no single can proof-positive to diagnose MS (multiple sclerosis). MS is a chronic disease which affects spinal cord, optic nerves and brain, causing various health issues. Diagnosing this disease early is extremely important to get effective treatment. As your concern, I have read that doctors usually prescribed MRI to detect MS. It is considered as the best test, performed with the help of machines manufactured by medical device companies present at http://www.ilexmedical.com/brands.php?act=cat . However, its better to contact a doctor, instead believing others.