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MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is an imaging modality that does not use radiation. Instead it uses a very strong magnet and radio waves. MRI exam times are longer than most of the other modalities, but the payoff is the unsurpassed visualization of soft tissue structures such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage and muscle. Our facility has a 1.5 Tesla scanner installed in our new hospital addition. Generally, the more powerful a MRI machine is, the noisier it is so every patient is given earplugs to wear, and for most exams the patient is able to listen to a favorite CD or radio station over headphones. The bore of the magnet is about 6.5 feet long and the imaging of the body part is done at the isocenter (middle) of the magnet. MRI is very sensitive to movement of the body part and can result in suboptimal images that are not of diagnostic quality.
Exams commonly done at our facility include:
- MRI of head, spine and joints
- MRA angiogram
- MRI arthrogram
PLEASE NOTE: All MRI exams are scheduled because of the long exam times.
Because of the use of an extremely powerful magnet, certain implants and metal foreign bodies are not allowed in the MRI machine (or room). Patients with devices such as a pacemaker, morphine pump, or aneurism clips are not allowed to have an MRI. To see a complete list of things that the MRI technologist must be informed of before having an MRI, please print off a copy of the MRI screening form (see below). Also, if you are claustrophobic, have anxiety attacks, severe pain, or muscle spasms, you should inform your doctor so that they might prescribe medication to help you lie still for the duration of the scan.