Can I get an MRI with a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
Are you experiencing chronic pain? If so, you may need to undergo an MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) scan at some point during your chronic pain journey. That’s why people considering a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) – sometimes called a neurostimulator – often have questions about MRI safety.
MRI scans are low-risk and widely used to capture images of internal body structures. They are an important tool used to diagnose a disease or injury and monitor how well you’re doing with treatment. If you have an implanted device, like a spinal cord stimulator, you’ll need to find out if you can safely have an MRI scan or if you’ll need to take special precautions for the procedure.
Can I have an MRI scan with a spinal cord stimulator?
The short answer is maybe. It depends on which spinal cord stimulator manufacturer you choose. Some SCS devices are safe for an MRI, but others are not.
So, what should you know about neurostimulator MRI safety? Because every situation is different, it’s important to consult with a provider before an MRI scan. You’ll want to talk to someone familiar with your specific situation and device. Some spinal cord stimulation (SCS) systems have restrictions around MRIs. If you have one of these SCS devices, your provider can talk to you about alternative ways to obtain the information your healthcare team needs to diagnose your condition.
Neurostimulator MRI safety
HF10 spinal cord stimulation systems are conditionally approved for full-body MRI scans as long as specific conditions are met. If you use HF10® to manage your chronic back pain or chronic leg pain, you can likely get MRI scans under certain conditions (as long as you don’t have another device or illness that prevents you from getting an MRI).
For more information about whether or not it is safe to receive an MRI with your device, please refer to the product manual.
HF10, MRI and CT Scans
HF10 SCS systems are conditionally approved for both full-body MRI scans as well as computed tomography (CT) scans. MRI and CT scans are two diagnostic imaging tools that doctors use to examine the body’s internal structures and diagnose health conditions. While an MRI is widely considered the “gold standard” today, they each have pros and cons. For example, a CT scan is faster, but an MRI provides a more detailed picture.
As always, be sure to talk to a provider familiar with your device and situation before receiving either scan.
Preparing for an MRI when you have a spinal cord stimulator
So, if your doctor recommends an MRI scan, what should you do? What steps should you follow? Here’s a checklist you can follow:
Before making an appointment:
- Tell the doctor who requested the MRI scan that you have an implanted spinal cord stimulation device.
- Ask the doctor who implanted your system if your system can safely undergo the ordered MRI scan.
- Different models of implanted devices, including lead types, result in various approved scanning conditions. Please carefully review the MRI guidelines with your provider.
When making the appointment:
- If you get the green light to move forward, provide the following information when making your appointment:
- The type of device you have: a Nevro HF10 spinal cord stimulator.
- A detailed description of your devices, including the product number of the implant, leads, and other implanted components. If you don’t have this information, your doctor should be able to provide it.
- The contact information of the doctor who implanted your device.
- Take your Patient ID card to the MRI appointment.
- A copy of the HF10 MRI guidelines (they can be found here).
After your appointment:
- Contact your doctor so they can make sure HF10 is programmed to pre-MRI settings for maximum pain relief.
Learn more about HF10.
If you’re experiencing chronic pain, you’re not alone. Many people across the U.S. face chronic pain but have found meaningful, long-term relief with HF10. Interested in learning more? Take a short assessment to see if HF10 might be right for you.
- Spinal cord stimulator MRI safety is often a top concern for people with chronic pain.
- An MRI and a CT scan are both valuable diagnostic imaging technologies.
HF10 is conditionally approved for both full-body MRI scans and CT scans under certain conditions. For more information about whether or not it is safe to receive an MRI with your device, please refer to the product manual
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