Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The use of an MRI can assist your provider in locating the source of your pain.
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Stevens Point Orthopedics is proud to offer Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) certified by The Joint Commission (TJC) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) three days per week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Because an MRI produces images from any angle with great clarity, it provides a wealth of diagnostic information.

What is an MRI?

An MRI can help your provider locate the source of your pain. The MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to take images of structures and organs inside your body. During an MRI, the area being studied is placed inside the MRI machine. Radio waves are sent through your body, causing the atoms in your body to send out their own signal. The signal is picked up by the scanner, and a computer turns this signal into images on a computer. MRI images are digital, so they can be viewed and stored on a computer. Images can also be viewed remotely, such as in the operating room or in an office exam room.

Why is it done?

Your provider may want to do an MRI for many reasons. MRI scans are useful to orthopedic providers but can be performed virtually on any body part to determine different pathologies. The most common reason for performing an MRI in an orthopedic clinic is to further examine musculoskeletal issues. An MRI may be used for determining and diagnosing the following:

  • Rotator cuff injuries in the shoulder
  • Knee pain caused by a torn meniscus, ACL, PCL or other soft tissue pathology
  • Bone tumors/cancers
  • Causes of sports injuries
  • Infections

Can anyone have an MRI?

Due to the strong magnet that makes up an MRI scanner, people with implanted devices or metal in their body cannot have an MRI.? Prior to your MRI, a medical staff member will go over a safety questionnaire with you to assure you meet the standards of having an MRI performed.? Anyone who has the following will not be able to have an MRI:

  • Heart pacemaker
  • Cochlear implant (an internal hearing aid)
  • Metal hearing implants
  • Metal surgical implants (metal rods, clips, plates, or pins)
  • Surgical implants to stop bleeding in the brain
  • Metal shrapnel
  • Any metal that is susceptible to the MRI?s magnetic field
  • Women in their first 12 weeks of pregnancy

What to expect during your MRI

A technologist will position on the scanning table.? Depending on the body part being scanned, you may be placed either head-first or feet-first into the scanner.? This is determined by whichever position allows the body part of interest to be centered in the magnet.? You will also be given earplugs to help muffle the knocking sound caused by the electricity being passed through the magnetic coil.? You will need to lie as still as possible, to prevent the images from becoming blurred. The technologist will be monitoring you from an adjoining room where they can view the images.? Occasionally, patients may be given an injection to enhance the clarity of some images.? On average, the exam will last about 30 minutes.? The time may vary depending on the body part being scanned.? After your scan, your study will be read by a radiologist and a follow-up exam with your provider will be scheduled to review the results.?

How to prepare for an MRI

No special preparations are needed for MRI scans.? All metallic objects are removed from the body prior to the MRI scan such as glasses, earrings, belts, change, etc.? You should wear comfortable clothing that does not have any zippers or snaps.? You may continue taking any prescribed medications.? On some occasions, patients are given a mild sedative to lessen any claustrophobic-related anxiety.

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