Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of diagnostic imaging that uses radiofrequency pulses, a magnetic field, and a computer, to capture photographs of your internal organs or soft tissues.
It’s a quick, convenient, and safe way to diagnose diseases, disorders, or injuries invisible to the eye. In some cases, MRI is also used to monitor your progress following a specific type of treatment, like orthopedic surgery or physical therapy.
At Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine Center, the team uses MRIs to diagnose various musculoskeletal issues, including:
You might also benefit from an MRI if you regularly experience joint pain and your provider suspects it’s due to arthritis.
Before undergoing an MRI, you take off your clothes and change into a hospital gown. Depending on the area of your body being screened, your provider might ask you to avoid eating or drinking certain foods or beverages.
Let your provider know if you have an underlying medical condition like heart disease, diabetes, or liver disease. These conditions won’t necessarily prevent you from getting an MRI, but they may increase your risk of complications. If you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, let your provider know about that as well.
An MRI unit features a large, cylinder-shaped tube with a circular magnet on the top. Before the MRI, you lie down on an exam table that slides into the cylinder.
During the MRI, you wear headphones and lie completely still. The machine makes a loud noise and captures images of your organs and soft tissues by realigning the hydrogen atoms that exist in the body. Unlike X-rays, there’s no radiation, so there are very few risks of side effects.
Depending on the parts of your body being scanned, an MRI can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. If you feel claustrophobic or uncomfortable at any time, you can press a button to let your MRI technician know.
Following an MRI, your Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine Center provider reviews the images, looking for signs of injury, disease, or other abnormalities. A day or two later, they give you a call and explain your results in-depth. Often, the team uses the results of an MRI to guide treatment.
To see if you can benefit from an MRI, make an appointment at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine Center by calling the nearest office or booking online today.