In an article appearing in the NY Times, October 29, 2011.
Specialists and medical researchers concluded that "(MRIs) are easily
misinterpreted and can result in misdiagnoses leading to unnecessary or
even harmful treatments.”
Dr. James Andrews, best known for his surgical work on professional
athletes, did his own experiment. He scanned the shoulders of 31
perfectly healthy professional baseball pitchers. Quoting the article,
"The pitchers were not injured and had no pain. But the MRIs found
abnormal shoulder cartilage in 90 percent of them and abnormal rotator
cuff tendons in 87 percent.”
"If you want an excuse to operate on a pitcher’s throwing shoulder, just get an M.R.I.,” Dr. Andrews says.”
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we rarely if ever rely on an
MRI. In our opinion these tests are a waste of money. A patient can come
in with a big file of films and scans that cost them a lot of money
out-of-pocket, and typically, there will be no useful information that
will help us get the athlete back on the field. A skilled physician can
make a more accurate determination of an athlete’s injury and treatment
plan with a careful physical examination and history.
Unfortunately, there is a certain appeal to the patient to get an
MRI, especially the athlete who thinks it is part of the normal process
of treatment. It is sometimes difficult to get the patient to
understand that when they get an MRI there will be a recommendation for
a surgery that many times is unnecessary.
Before you consider the surgical option based on an MRI, before you
take your star athlete off the field for a year of surgical recovery, a
consultation with a doctor trained in non-surgical treatment of
ligament and tendon injuries, such as Prolotherapy and PRP (Platelet
Rich Plasma) Therapy, may be an option to explore.
This article was originally published at: http://www.drmagaziner.com/prolotherapynewjersey/why-mris-and-scans-are-not-an-important-part-of-our-sports-medicine-practice/