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MRI Opinion

Roger Fillingim rfilling at uab.edu
Mon Feb 9 10:59:40 EST 1998

hobart at humboldt1.com wrote:
> A friend of mine is involved in a 4 year Worker's Compensation battle as
> result of injury to back causing 4 herniated disks.  The agreed upon
> medical examiner has written an opinion to the effect that the MRI
> studies showing the herniations are of litte value and that MRI studies
> in general are of little credibility. He sides with the insurance carrier
> and is trying to make injured worker's injury look insignificant.  I find
> his statements about MRI studies  to be incredible and would like to find
> someone professional in the field who would be willing to comment on this
> opinion.  Of course copies of the medical reports and MRI report etc
> would be furnished.  Is someone out there who would be willing to defend
> the credibility of MRI studies?  Please reply asap to attention Bill,
> care of hobart at humboldt1.com.  Many thanks.

I can't help you with credibility of MRI.  I'm sure there are lots of
neurordiologists, neurosurgeons and orthopedists out there who will
vouch for the credibility of MRI for spine imaging, since decisions
about surgery are based on them frequently.  Outside the credibility of
MRI, if I were the expert, I might argue that there is no way to
document that the herniated discs were caused by the injury, unless the
injured worker had a pre-injury MRI.  Many studies indicate that a
substantial percentage of the "healthy population" has abnormal findings
on studies of the spine.  I remember watching a back pain specialist
give a talk once in which he was reveiwing a CT scan of a spine that
showedf signs of significant impairment.  He thoroughly reviewed the
various problems with the patient's spine, and then confessed that it
was his spine, and he had no back pain.

Sorry I can't be of more help, but I'm sure your frind's attorney can
find an expert who will defend the use of MRI for spine imaging.

Roger B. Fillingim, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of Alabama at Birmingham

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