MRI Question

I’m trying to get an appointment with a surgeon. The hospital’s secretary says that patients need a referral and a MRI to get an appointment.

Would a MRI of the Cervical Spine be the best type of MRI?

Thank you.

Curious that they want an MRI especially if you’ve made it clear you’re checking for Eagle Syndrome. Because calcified stylohyoid ligaments &/or elongated styloid processes show up best on a CT scan w/ styloid protocol, that is what is recommended for ES diagnosis. You should call the office & ask if a CT scan would be acceptable in place of an MRI.

If you do end up w/ an MRI, you want to make sure that you get one that covers the area from the base of your skull to your hyoid bone. The styloid processes project down and forward from the inferior surface of the temporal bone, and serve as an anchor point for several muscles associated with the tongue and larynx. The stylohyoid ligaments run from the tips of the styloid processes to the lesser horns of the hyoid bone. The styloid process together with the stylohyoid ligament is referred as the stylohyoid complex.

If you request an MRI referral from your PCP, you can give him/her the information above regarding the area that needs to be scanned. I would recommend asking for a CT scan, however, as that will be your best diagnostic tool for ES.

Thanks for getting back to me. I have a CD of a Cone Beam CT that was done recently at a dentist office but no report to go along with it. No one has interpreted this CBCT yet (and I am clueless as to whom to ask). I intend to bring this CBCT CD with me to my appointment along with a CD of the C-Spine MRI when I get that done.

Maybe I should ask my PCP to order a regular Cat Scan too?
Just to cover all areas.

The cone beam CT could show your styloids & should be able to be interpreted by your dentist or the radiologist at the facility where you had the scan done (if it wasn’t done at your dental office). I expect that if your dentist can interpret the cone beam scan, he could put together some sort of report for you or at least identify which structures on the scan are your styloid processes. The ligaments don’t show up w/o contrast UNLESS they are partially or fully calcified. They should show up on an MRI since MRIs show soft tissue better. CT scans are just fancy x-rays & do better at showing solid structures.
Having your PCP request a CT w/ styloid protocol is a thought, but that means you’re being subjected to a lot of radiation awfully close together (unless your cone beam scan was many months ago). You should ask if another CT would be safe at this time.

That’s right! Don’t let anybody make you jump hoops! Back in 2004, you had to have a “referral” to go to OU Physicians. All of my doctors were with Mercy Hospital system and I could not get my PCP, Endocrinologist, or any doctor to send me to OU! I was at the end of my rope! I was literally giving up and dying slowly…I finally called my OB/GYN and I was crying with desperation. He wrote the referral, a gynecologist!!! OU accepted it and it was at the Otorhinolaryngology Clinic at OU that Dr. Krempl diagnosed me. So, get the referral from a janitor, anybody you have to get…My gynecologist retired last July but, I still communicate with him and his wife. I am eternally grateful to him for going outside of the box and help me. He was a Mercy Physician. Good luck in obtaining your referral.