Upright MRI

Does anyone have experience with an Upright MRI?

I had PLIF (L3, L4, L5) in June of 2019. I'm having tremendous lower back pain, but only when I'm on my feet - no pain sitting, no pain lying down. My most recent MRI (done lying down, of course) shows that my L5 - S1 disc is in direct contact with the L5 nerve root, but the surgeon says it is NOT compressing the nerve. I think if i could get imaging standing, it would show compression. By the way, I am still numb from just above my right knee down through my toes, and in my left foot, toes and instep = no change since the fsuion.

So... does anyone know of a way to get images "weight bearing" or has anyone had success with an Upright MRI? Thank you. 



  • Personally I’d get a second opinion on your current MRI from a different neurosurgeon before thinking about getting an upright MRI. That’s just me.

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 289

    Years ago I had an "open" MRI and it was done while I was seated. Sorry, but I don't have any experience with a standing MRI. Good luck! Jerome

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  • @Jerome001 an upright MRI is a seated MRI. Were your results any different with a recumbent (laying on your back) MRI versus an upright MRI? Just curious.

  • Thanks for the responses.

    Jerome, I am also curious if the seated MRI produced different results as that's what I would hope for.

    L4_L5, I could get another opinion, but how do surgeons feel about the fact that I have already had a fusion done by someone else? It seems to me that I've read that some doctors won't touch you once you've been worked on elsewhere. Also, why wouldn't you get another MRI? - unless, of course, my insurance won't pay for it. 

  • @Chelie sometimes a second pair of eyes looking at your MRI is helpful. Insurance is very fussy about paying for upright MRI’s. I found one as cheap as $499 (cash price) but it unfortunately went out of business. Good luck and please keep us posted.

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  • You can sit or stand in open standing MRI it is, good to use for weight  bearing  exam  you can google  to find in usa i believe  Texas, Has it is, good  also for claustrophic  people since open at top

  • joanne2jjoanne2 Posts: 367

    Chelie, look up  myelogram in the top right search on this page. It's not pleasant but often shows things an MRI or CT won't show. It showed my nerve compression when an MRI didn't. Your doctor would have to agree to order it of course or you could find a different surgeon who would. I'm not familiar with upright MRI'S.


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