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Can an MRI Show Injuries Missed on an X-Ray?

The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC June 29, 2023

Patient undergoing MRI ProcedureGetting immediate medical treatment after an accident is crucial for your health, safety, and well-being. Depending on the type of injuries sustained, a doctor may recommend an imaging exam for proper diagnosis and to detect hidden injuries and symptoms. X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans are powerful diagnostic tools that allow physicians to see a patient’s internal body structures.  

According to a recent study, the diagnostic sensitivity and accuracy of X-ray and MRI examinations were found to be 63.38% and 60.00% and 90.14%, and 88.75%, respectively. However, there are situations where an X-ray can miss soft tissue injuries and minor bone fractures. In this case, getting an MRI may be recommended to obtain a comprehensive, high-resolution image of the person’s bones, soft tissue, veins, and nerves.  

At The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC, I am passionate about representing clients in accident claims. As a practiced Virginia personal injury attorney, I can tell you about the use, benefits, and drawbacks of X-rays and MRIs, as well as the next steps to take if an X-ray fails to reveal your hidden injuries. My firm proudly serves clients across N Chesterfield, Petersburg, Richmond, and Henrico, Virginia. 

The Dangers of Not Catching a Serious Injury

Being involved in an accident can be a difficult experience and may result in minor or serious injuries. Even if you feel fine or only sustained minor injuries, it is important that you seek prompt medical attention to detect hidden injuries and symptoms and receive adequate treatments.  

Unfortunately, not catching a serious injury as early as possible can cause your health condition to deteriorate. Nonetheless, the earlier you detect an injury, the earlier you can start your journey to recovery.  

Therefore, if you have done an X-ray and received medical treatment, but you’re still feeling some pain or discomfort, you may need to get an MRI. Using the pictures provided by the MRI, the doctor can thoroughly evaluate your health condition and determine the magnitude of your injuries. 

When to Use X-Rays vs. MRIs

As mentioned earlier, X-Rays and MRIs are powerful diagnostic tools that doctors often use to show the internal body structure of a patient. They create pictures using different kinds of electromagnetic energy, including X-rays and radio waves. However, there are some crucial distinctions between an X-ray and an MRI that you need to know. 

Understanding an X-Ray

An X-ray or radiograph sends radiation through the body to produce images of areas with high levels of calcium, such as teeth and bones. These areas will block the radiation and appear black or gray on the image. 

When To Use X-Ray

X-rays are suitable for detecting fractures, misalignments, dislocations, and narrowed joint spaces. Unfortunately, an X-ray may not be able to show images of subtle bone injuries, inflammation, or soft tissue injuries. 

Understanding an MRI

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) sends radio waves into the body using powerful magnets. Once these magnets enter the body, the body protons will create well-detailed pictures of the body’s internal structures, including blood vessels, nerves, and soft tissues. 

When To Use MRI 

MRIs are suitable for spotting musculoskeletal and delicate injuries, such as joint inflammation, cartilage loss, spinal injuries, torn ligaments, and nerve compressions. Due to the high sensitivity and level of detail provided by the MRI machine, the physician is likely to detect the source of the pain. However, MRIs are expensive, and the machines are not always available in emergency rooms or hospitals. 

What to Do if an X-Ray Doesn’t Show an Injury but You’re Still in Pain

If an X-ray doesn’t show your injury, but you’re still experiencing mild or serious pain, you may need to get an MRI from your medical provider. The MRI will reveal the particular source of the pain and provide the right diagnosis. With this, you can receive the right treatment for your injuries and pursue the maximum damages for your injuries. 

Need Representation? Contact Our Firm Today. 

Getting hurt in an accident can be an overwhelming experience. Depending on the magnitude of your injuries, an MRI may be needed – even after performing an X-ray – to detect the right source of the pain. At The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC, I provide reliable legal guidance and skilled representation so you can look toward a brighter future.  

I have the resources to document all of the details of your injuries, your medical records, treatments, and expenses. I will help file your claims, fight for your rights, and attempt to pursue the maximum possible compensation to cover your injuries and damages.  

Contact me at The Thomas Law Firm, PLLC, today to arrange a simple case assessment with an experienced personal injury attorney. I can walk you through the challenges involved in filing an injury claim and help you recover your rightful financial compensation. My firm proudly serves clients across N Chesterfield, Petersburg, Richmond, and Henrico, Virginia.