MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) exams provide a painless, easy and accurate way for the doctors at Orthopedic Specialists of North County to look inside various parts of your body without the need for radiation.
The unique open air architecture of the E-Scan XQ System used at our office offers you a safe, comfortable exam in a relaxed setting.
During an MRI exam, magnetic fields and radio waves safely scan the injured part of your body. The MRI equipment then captures the different signals that are emitted back by various body tissues and a computer instantly converts this information into images that can show your doctor the details of your physical ailment with amazing clarity.
There are no known side effects of MRI.
What Is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?
MRI is an imaging technique that provides valuable information about joints, soft tissue and bones to your physician. MRI is different than an x-ray. It uses your body’s natural magnetic field to produce images. Special equipment, including a computer, a large, powerful magnet and radio waves, piece together information about your body’s tissues and structures based on the natural magnetic fields emitted by your body.
Before Your MRI Exam
We recommend that you wear comfortable but warm clothing without any metal snaps, zippers or under wires. Avoid wearing jewelry and remove medication/magnetic patches.
Follow all exam preparation instructions.
Please arrive 30 minutes before your appointment to complete necessary paperwork and change into a gown. You will be asked to remove all loose metal objects from your body.
Because of the way MRI works, certain metallic objects cannot be present in the MRI unit. It is critical that we know about ANY metal objects inside your body prior to scheduling an MRI.
Examples Of Metallic Objects include
- Joint or bone pins or metal plates
- Unremoved bullets, shrapnel or BB shot
- Inner ear implants
- Aneurysm clips, surgical clips or stents
- Metal fragments from welding
During Your MRI Exam
An MRI is painless. The individual who will perform the MRI study is known as a Radiologic Technologist, a highly skilled and educated person that works under close supervision of the physician.
You will be placed on an examination table. The table will then move slowly into the MRI unit,
which is an air-conditioned tunnel-like space that is open on both ends. The technologist will have you in full view and will be in contact with you via a two way microphone system.
Throughout the exam, you will hear some loud noises, ranging from buzzing to knocking. These are normal sounds of the equipment.
It is important that you do not move during the exam as this will produce blurred images.
Will I Require An Injection?
Most MRI tests will not require a contrast injection, however in certain circumstances it may improve the accuracy of the scan. If contrast is required, an IV will be started to administer the contrast.
This injection in placed in an arm vein.
What If I Require Sedation?
If you feel that you may be claustrophobic or have anxiety, please contact your referring physician or primary care physician to prescribe medication for you to take prior to the test. We do not have sedation at the center.
What If I Am Pregnant?
If you are pregnant or could be pregnant at the time of your appointment, please contact us prior to that time so that we can discuss your situation with your referring physician.
MRI is usually avoided in the first trimester of pregnancy unless the diagnosis cannot wait and your doctor considers MRI to be the best investigation.
Following The Exam
You should not have any discomfort or pain from this exam.
Wondering About Exam Results?
A Radiologist, a physician who specializes in the interpretation of MRI imaging tests, will review the images and send a report to the designated health care provider. Contact your referring physician to make a follow-up appointment.