Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Scoliosis - MRI scans

A few weeks ago I wrote about Sibs's diagnosis of idiopathic adolescent scoliosis and the first steps in the treatment.  (HERE)

Since then there have been a few other appointments and so here is the next instalment.

During the initial consultation with the orthopaedic spinal surgeon Dr A requested that as part of her care plan he wanted an MRI scan of Sibs's back. Even though he was confident that her scoliosis is idiopathic (no cause) he wanted to be doubly sure and to rule out any other possible complications.

As we were discussing the arrangements for the MRI we also had a conversation about research into scoliosis and any previous studies on the condition. Dr A mentioned a study that is currently collecting data to understand the differences between a healthy and an abnormal spine in growing girls. We established that Sibs would be suitable to participate and were then put in touch with the research team. 

One of the researchers emailed me details of the study and various consent forms. It was then arranged to conduct the MRI for Dr A and the MRI for the research team at the same time and venue. Isn't it great when people actually co-operate and make your life a little easier?

So on a Saturday morning before ballet practise we found ourselves at a hospital diagnostic department.

Sibs was measured and photographed by one of the researchers and then shown around the MRI machinery and the whole process was explained to her.
I can't praise the medical team enough. The way that everything was so calmly introduced and explained was pretty amazing. She was encouraged to ask questions and the first one she came up with was "Can I still talk when I'm in the machine?" Yes, typical Sibs!

They took the time to chat through the various buttons and gadgets including the fact that it would only take 6 seconds to get to her if she pressed the panic button at any time.

By the time the heated blankets came out and she was invited to select a movie to watch I could see that she was more than comfortable. 

Sibs spent about an hour and a half in total in the MRI room with each scan taking about 10 - 15 minutes. Each time something new happened it would again be explained to her and so the unusual clunking noise would not be a surprise.

I think she was a little disappointed when the scanning finished as she never got to see the end of The Lorax!

The results of the MRI scans will now be collated and sent to the consultant and to the research team. As part of the research study she will be required to undertake scans at 6 monthly intervals or annually depending on her growth pattern. 

As a bit of a plug - the research team is also looking for healthy spines to study. Here is a copy of the request.

So Brisbane based people - they would be very grateful for anybody willing to give up a tiny bit of their time...just one hour a year over three years.

I will write another time about the fitting of the back brace and how Sibs is managing and adjusting to wearing it.

My super star!

4 Comments and thoughts:

  1. Chwarae teg i Sibs am fod mor ddewr. Diw pasio trwy sganer MRI ddim yn rhywbeth pleserus iawn, braidd yn glostroffobig. Pob lwc gyda'r canlyniadau ag unrhyw driniaeth pellach. Cariad oddiwrth Meryl ag Arfon :)

  2. Diolch Meryl a Arfon. Mae'n ymdopi'n dda mor belled. Fi'n credu bo plant yn derbyn pethe yn well na oedolion weithiau ☺️

  3. Hello Beth

    This is a fascinating study and I love Sib's positive and fun loving attitude. She is a beautiful young woman


    1. Thank you for your kind words Helen.