Musculoskeletal Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, is an imaging procedure that provides high-quality images of the bones, joints, muscles, tendons and cartilage. This examination is highly accurate, and can investigate conditions such as tendon and ligament tears, meniscal tear, subtle fracture, bone tumor or musculoskeletal infection. A Musculoskeletal MRI can be conducted on any part of the musculoskeletal system, but are most commonly conducted on the knee, shoulder, hip, ankle, elbow and wrist joints.
Locations Offering This Procedure:
Who Needs This Procedure?
MRI of the musculoskeletal system is highly accurate for diagnosing the cause of bone/joint pain or other symptoms and is helpful to your doctor in confirming their diagnosis and deciding on the best management and treatment. MRI often detects abnormalities that cannot be found with other procedures. This test also does not involve any exposure to radiation, making it safe and noninvasive.
Women who are pregnant are advised not to undergo MRI procedures.
Preparing For The Procedure:
Patients should remove all metal objects from their person prior to the procedure, as the magnetic field of the exam unit may be interfered with. Notify your doctor of any implants, dental materials or other metal objects that are in your body, in order to minimize complications. Your doctor may advise you not to eat or drink before the procedure if a contrast material is being used.
During The Procedure:
The patient lays on the exam table for the entirety of the procedure. If necessary, a contrast material will be administered intravenously. While the MRI unit is capturing images, the exam table will move the patient through, building a 3D image. Most procedures last about 45 minutes.
What Will I Experience?
Some patients may feel anxious about being inside a traditional “closed” MRI machine. “Open” MRI units are available for patients who would prefer it, especially those with claustrophobia. However, the capabilities of the “open” MRI unit are usually less than that of a “closed” unit.
MRI technology offers detection of soft-tissue abnormalities in a non-invasive way. MRI does not emit radiation, making it a safe alternative to other imaging technology.