MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a non-invasive, radiation-free scanning technology. It is a test that uses radio waves and magnetic fields to produce clear and detailed three-dimensional images of organs and hard and soft tissues throughout the body.
Reasons for an MRI
The multifunctional MRI can be used to identify or locate an injury or abnormality, to scan for developing problems or analyze damage from previous trauma, and to aid in the planning of surgery. MRI produces images of any area of the body and can be an invaluable tool for detecting the following problems:
- Tumors, infection, and cancer
- Eye and inner ear disorders
- Chronic nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis, dementia, and pituitary gland disorders
- Back pain, spinal cord injury, herniated disk, and pinched nerves
- Heart and vascular disease and stroke
- Joint and musculoskeletal disorders: knee, shoulder, hips, wrists, and hands; tendons, ligaments, and muscles
- Degenerative disorders such as arthritis; deterioration of joint surfaces
- Major organs including the brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidney, spleen, and pancreas
- Problems of the male and female reproductive systems, bladder, pelvis and hips, and breast cancer
The Benefits of an MRI
The MRI procedure is an effective diagnostic tool that does not involve any exposure to radiation; unlike X-Rays, radioisotopes, CT, and other methods that use radiation, MRI uses radiofrequency waves. Radio waves detect differences in water concentration and distribution in various body tissues.
MRI is the only procedure to produce images of the hard and soft tissue within the body.
This procedure is safe for nearly all patients and is constantly being improved so that it is more comfortable for patients with claustrophobia.
The MRI Procedure
During the procedure, the patient lies still on a table that slides into the MRI unit. Newer, “open” scanners do not enclose the patient and reduce anxiety for those with claustrophobia. A series of scans is then performed to obtain the image.
The procedures are painless, frequently do not require contrast material, entail short examination and recovery times, and take the place of catheter angiography and exploratory surgery so there is no risk of damaging an artery.
The Risks of an MRI
While an MRI is considered a safe diagnostic procedure with no major risks or side effects for most patients, its use of a strong magnetic field may lead to serious complications for some. An MRI exam is not recommended for patients with certain conditions, including:
- Cardiac pacemaker
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator
- Cochlear ear implant
- Intrauterine device
- Metal implants
- Surgical staples
The Orthopaedic Center contracts with a wide variety of insurance companies, workers’ compensation carriers, employer groups and Medicare. We know that insurance information can be confusing and hard to understand. That’s why, as a service to our patients,we research eligibility and directly bill insurance providers. If you have a question about our participation with a particular plan, please call us.