MRI

What is an MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a strong magnetic field, radio frequency waves, and a powerful computer to produce clear and detailed pictures of the human body without the use of x-rays. Many areas of the body can be imaged without any pain or discomfort to the patient. MRI is widely used to detect sports-related injuries of the knee, shoulder, hip, elbow and wrist.

The images allow the radiologist to see even very small tears and injuries to ligaments and muscles. MRI of the brain can detect tumors or disorders of the eyes and inner ears. Some techniques, such as Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) are sensitive to blood flow and visualization of major blood vessels can be obtained. A radiologist, with extensive training in MRI, will analyze the images and send a report to your doctor who will then review your report with you.

How do I prepare for it?
Several days prior to your MRI, you will be contacted by one of the AMI schedulers to go over a screening questionnaire. During the screening process, safety questions will be asked regarding past metal injuries, recent surgeries within the last 6 weeks or prior surgery for placement of a pacemaker, aneurysm clips, metallic implants or a defibrillator, etc. Certain MRI exams will require you to fast for up to four hours prior to the exam and the schedulers will instruct you regarding the necessity for doing so.

Please print and fill out the MRI screening form before your appointment.

What if I am claustrophobic?
If you feel you may have difficulty lying still in a confined space, you may want to ask your referring physician for a prescription for a sedative to be taken just before you exam. Patients should prepare for their MRI exam by wearing comfortable clothing (exercise clothing with elastic waist pants are best and without any metal buttons, zippers, etc.).

What should I expect the day of the study?
The technologist will make sure that you do not have any metal on your body before the procedure begins. It is very important to remain still during the test. Most exams take 30-60 minutes, depending on the type of exam. Some patients will require an injection of contrast material to enhance the visibility of certain tissues or blood vessels. The injection is given with a small needle in a vein in the arm or hand. This should have no effect on how you feel after the exam.