Back pain sufferers who get steroid injections do not need to receive MRI scans.
The costly scans are usually given before the injections, but have little impact on
whether or not the injections will be given.
(Reuters) – People who get steroid injections to ease back pain do not
need an MRI scan, which does little to help doctors assess and treat
patients but adds significant costs, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
Steroid injections in the back are among the most common treatments at
pain clinics, and doctors routinely order a magnetic resonance imaging, or
MRI, scan before treatment.
At $1,500 each, these scans are a costly addition that may not be
necessary, says Dr. Steven Cohen of Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine, whose study appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
“Our results suggest that MRI is unlikely to avert a procedure, diminish
complications or improve outcomes,” Cohen said in a statement.
Given how often these procedures are done, skipping the MRI beforehand
could save significant time and money, he said.
Medical imaging tests have revolutionized health care, giving doctors
a way to look inside the body to make better decisions and help avoid
But recently, doctors have come under fire for ordering too many
unnecessary imaging tests, adding to… continue reading
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