Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    something other than a mri?
    betsey2u posted:
    I had posted about my radiculopathy and through all this I have been asked why the orthapedic didnt give me an mri? and I never thought much of it because the signs are all there figuring that was how I was diagnosed. But now I realize I may not be able to have an mri because I have a steel plate in my arm. Is there another way they would be able to detect what is causing this? be it lesions on the spine or herniated discs, osteoarthritis whatever.
    Debsbears responded:
    Hi Betsey, I am wondering if you know what the metal plate in your arm is made of?

    The reason I ask is I have plates, screws and knee replacements and I can have MRI's. It depends on the kind of metal. All mine are made out of Titanium.

    You would need to get your medical record for the surgery to find out what kind of metal they used.... Titanium is okay for MRI's and going through airports but Steel plates should never go near an MRI machine.

    Please find out that help you out the best in my opinion.
    betsey2u replied to Debsbears's response:
    I have been through a metal detecter at the courthouse no problem. Now I guess I have to do some research I cant even remember the dr. name who did my surgery! eshh Thanks for the info,.it was only about 10-11 years ago,.so maybe it is titanium? Just wondering if now adays all plates are titanium. hmm thanks for the info,.maybe there is hope for me yet and I should quit my cryin. thank you!
    Debsbears replied to betsey2u's response:
    Betsey I do not know when they started using Titanium. My first knee replacement was in 94' I do not know what they used then. I have had that removed in 07' they used Titanium. 06 I had a large toe joints replaced with Titanium.

    When you fill out the medical record release form make sure you put a few years back if you think 10 or 11 yrs ago put on the form 1999 to 2001 specific to the surgical report on your arm. Also mark it for continued care. Most metals will set off the metal detectors unless it is Titanium you'll need to know for sure before proceeding.

    I hope this helps.
    trs1960 replied to Debsbears's response:
    Ti was discovered in 1791. Since titanium is non-ferromagnetic , patients with titanium implants can be safely examined with magnetic resonance imaging (convenient for long-term implants). As I mentioned earlier, the difference in molecular makeup causes an artifact or hole in an MRI image where there is a lack of signal data from the magnet/antenna.
    dianer01 replied to trs1960's response:

    Thank you for the explanation of titanium. It is really enlightening. I have two titanium rods, screws and two bridges between the rods which are not titanium but I believe aluminum.

    I travel frequently and have no other implants. I have had no problem going through the airport scanners except once in a while something will echo to one hip or knee and they have to do a little closer inspection. I take that back, I finally started wearing clogs to travel in because trying to tie shoes standing up is a pain in the butt!

    I have also had multiple mri's without any problem.
    bj1208 replied to dianer01's response:
    Hi Tim and Diane -

    I too have a titanium plate and 4 screws - I do have a cage but don't know if that is also titanium - I have MRI's done yearly to check several problems with my back and have never had any problems.

    I have a single fusion but have never had problems with airport scanners -

    thanks again -

    take care - Joy
    betsey2u replied to trs1960's response:
    I thought I had posted last night but I guess it didnt show up!.
    Turns out yep my plate is steel,.not titanium. So what do you think my ortho will do to further investigate if I cant have a mri done?? I cannot see them removing my plate in my arm just to have a mri done. When the plate was put in the doctor did try to explain what they would do to remove it if it needed to be removed. I shush him real quick. I didnt even want to think about that.
    and i havent had any problems at metal detectors,.but usually I tell them I have a plate in my arm before I go through. Kinda strange I never set off any buzzers.

    Helpful Tips

    Steps For Getting Back Pain Diagnosed And Treated
    Many people come to this WebMD Back Pain Community looking for help in getting a diagnosis of a cause and relief from their back pain. Most ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    226 of 343 found this helpful

    Helpful Resources

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center