Can I pay to get an MRI without having to go through the doctors.?!


Can I pay to get an MRI without having to go through the doctors.?

I have had one done that confirmed a stress fracture of the first metatarsal and have gone through the treatment procedure that the doctors gave me. However, it still hurts but I have also been seeing a physio and she has found that there is soft tissue damage. Obviously now I do not know what the problem is. Is the stress fracture still there or is all the pain being caused by something else?
Can I pay to have an MRI scan done and if so where?
Any info is greatly apreciated.


In a nutshell no. No medical imaging would be done to anyone without referral from a doctor. There are countless private clinics which will be more than happy to take your money off you, although you would still have to see a doctor first. If your physio has pointed out 'soft tissue damage', and you feel it requires further scanning, then I would advise you to go back to your GP. They in turn will refer you to an NHS hospital if they feel it is warranted. There is a misconception that the NHS will not provide care because of penny pinching but that is nonsense. If you need further investigation then you will be seen. The difference with private health care is that you will no doubt be seen quicker, because as you can appreciate stress fractures are not of the up-most priority and MRI is perhaps one of the most costly imaging procedures. The legal guidelines with MRI are also slightly different over other conventional imaging, such as CT, because no ionising radiation is being used. You may find you don't need a MRI a standard x-ray may show up the stress fracture (I won't bore you with the fundamentals of bone healing). Often we use nuclear medicine to image for stress fractures. Each procedure offers pros and cons, this is why you need to speak to your GP ( Private doctor's will just offer you the most expensive treatment, cynical but true). Any further advice feel free to e-mail me. I couldn't diagnose your problem without seeing your x-rays (providing you have had any but you should have had). It can however take as long as 12 weeks for a stress fracture to heal itself

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