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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Can I pay to get an MRI without having to go through the doctors.?

I have had one done that confirmed a stress fracture of the first metatarsal and have gone through the treatment procedure that the doctors gave me. However, it still hurts but I have also been seeing a physio and she has found that there is soft tissue damage. Obviously now I do not know what the problem is. Is the stress fracture still there or is all the pain being caused by something else?
Can I pay to have an MRI scan done and if so where?
Any info is greatly apreciated.
Answer:
In a nutshell no. No medical imaging would be done to anyone without referral from a doctor. There are countless private clinics which will be more than happy to take your money off you, although you would still have to see a doctor first. If your physio has pointed out 'soft tissue damage', and you feel it requires further scanning, then I would advise you to go back to your GP. They in turn will refer you to an NHS hospital if they feel it is warranted. There is a misconception that the NHS will not provide care because of penny pinching but that is nonsense. If you need further investigation then you will be seen. The difference with private health care is that you will no doubt be seen quicker, because as you can appreciate stress fractures are not of the up-most priority and MRI is perhaps one of the most costly imaging procedures. The legal guidelines with MRI are also slightly different over other conventional imaging, such as CT, because no ionising radiation is being used. You may find you don't need a MRI a standard x-ray may show up the stress fracture (I won't bore you with the fundamentals of bone healing). Often we use nuclear medicine to image for stress fractures. Each procedure offers pros and cons, this is why you need to speak to your GP ( Private doctor's will just offer you the most expensive treatment, cynical but true). Any further advice feel free to e-mail me. I couldn't diagnose your problem without seeing your x-rays (providing you have had any but you should have had). It can however take as long as 12 weeks for a stress fracture to heal itself
Here in the UK you can pay privately for an MRI scan at most hospitals that have MRI scanners, but they usually still require a referral from your doctor. But it should only take a week or two at the most and could cost around 拢450 - 拢550. You could try phoning the radiology department and asking if they require a referral, but it is usually the case.
Contact the Wellington Hospital, St Johns Wood, London. Next to Lords Cricket Ground. Type in Wellington Hospital in your search engine for web address. I had a MRI a while back without having to go through my Doctor. However, must point out they are very expensive but worth the expense if really needed. Good hunting.
legally, an mri can not be performed on you without a doctors order. if you think you should have one, you should call your doctor and ask him to fax an order.with a previous injury he/she shouldn't need to see you in the office for that, unless they're just trying to milk you out of your co pay.
You usually need a doctor's referral or prescription to have a MRI done. I don't think you can just walk in and get another one done. A MRI is fairly expensive and to pay out of pocket is pretty costly. Insurances usually cover it. Regarding your problem...without more information and how long and how it's been treat'd and whether you got x-rays or not - it's hard to say how the pain is still there. You don't normally see first metatarsal stress fractures too often - it can happen but it's not as common as the third metatarsal. Other things around the first metatarsal include the big toe joint and the structures around it. Somtimes, chronic limitation of motion of the big toe joint can cause changes on MRI that can appear to look like a stress fracture. There's also small sesamoid bones underneath our big toe joint that can be fractured and that can cause pain to exist. I'd suggest getting another opinion from another doctor - podiatrist just to see if it's not something else. Hope this helps!
You can get it done privately by going to bupa so long as you foot the bill.
You can pay for it, but a doctor has to order it. Talk to your primary care doc and let them know you are willing to pay if you insurance doesn't cover it. Keep in mind that it is a very expensive test.
best to go through your doctor to get a referral. its no skin off their nose to order it, not like you're asking for surgery. these things do take time to heal though, not everyone gets the same treatment as footballers, we're not all fighing fit after 2 weeks.
You took the words right out of my mouth MWNN.. Honest.

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