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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hello William,

I, too, don't have insurance since my divorce 6 years ago. But, as a CASH paying client, the MRI's, etc. are not impossible. I live in a small town outside of Jacksonville, FL and I called around all the Imaging places I could find in the phone book. I was able to get a complete lumbar MRI for $325. I even got the radiologist report and a disc copy of my MRI for free. Duplicates cost $10. I was also able to get XRays at Solantic-which is one of those walk in clinics for $90. I also was able to get a copy of the radiologist report, but I didn't get copies of the XRays since they were, I think, $20 or so a sheet. I have found asking for a CASH discount really reduces the cost, as everyone knows, when the insurance is billed the cost goes way up.

The MRI found buldging discs at L1 L2 and heriated discs at L4 L5 and L5 S1 with the herniation pushing on the nerve sacs and bilateral nerve roots.
The XRay found Scoliosis, bone spurs and something else, I can't remember. I have been referred to a Neurosurgeon and Pain Managment, but that is still out of my reach right now.

Anyway, I was finally able to say that the severe back and nerve pain in my butt cheeks and down both of my legs were for real. Right now I am on pain meds, muscle relaxers (which I don't take, they make me throw up) and Neurontin for the nerve pain, which I was really surprised how well it did work for me. I had such horrible burning down my right leg into my ankle with creepy crawlies. But now I really have had a 50% decrease in the pain, but it didn't help with the butt cheek pain or back pain. The nerve pain does come and go during the day though, so it isn't completly gone but it is better. Neurontin is also really cheap.

Anyway, there is a SHANDS hospital in Jacksonville and I have an appointment next month to see about getting a Shands card (i cant work-can't sit or stand for more than 10 minutes or so) which is for lower income people. I believe you have to make under $500 a week for one person and so much per person in the household. They do, do financials on eveyone over 18 in the household. Shands is affiliated with the University of Florida and is a major teaching hospital, so I hope to be able to get some help. I did apply for SSI/SSD but was denied due to not working much while I was married and didn't earn enough work credits to get it early. Maybe you have a large teaching hospital somewhere near you?

Anyway, I hope this gives you some help that getting your MRI won't cost you thousands of dollars-that's just the insurance billing-and that you will be able to get it and get some help. Now surgery is another matter. I'm still working on that.


Just reread the other post...i too was told, by my doctors office, to go to the ER when I have a flare up, that can jump start any kind of help that is available for you. I just don't want to deal with ER bills that can't be paid so I haven't tried that route

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