Welcome to our State of the Art 1.5 Nuclear MRI with a weight limit of 350 lbs. The Bone & Joint MRI facility provides the highest level of patient care. Our physicians prefer our facility because our MRI magnetic resolution is the very best.
What Is An MRI?
There are three main components to an MRI machine: radio waves, a large magnet, and a computer. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. This form of imaging is a preferred way to examine the soft tissue and non-bony parts of the body. For example, your doctor may order an MRI instead of an X-ray or CT scan if they want to observe an area of your spinal cord, brain, muscles, tendons, or nerves. MRI imaging is often the recommended method of observing breast tissue for women who have breast implants. It is also a common form of imaging for individuals who require periodic screenings. This is due to the lack of radiation exposure present in MRI tests.
What Do MRIs Detect?
MRI imaging is extremely valuable across numerous fields of medicine. Some of the reasons that doctors order this form of imaging include the detection of:
- Traumatic injury to the brain or spine
- Brain or spinal tumors
- Brain aneurysm
- Spinal cord compression or inflammation
- Multiple sclerosis
- Abnormal heart anatomy and heart function
- Cardiovascular conditions after a heart attack or due to congenital heart disease
- Bodily tumors
- Inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and Chron's disease
- Liver disease
- Blood vessel inflammation or malformations
- Bone tumors or infection
- Spinal disc abnormalities
- Joint issues
Who Is A Candidate For An MRI?
Your doctor may order an MRI for you if you present with a complaint like chronic or acute pain in any joint or soft-tissue body part. MRIs are performed on nearly every part of the body across numerous areas of medicine. In our specialty, your doctor may want an MRI to determine the cause of your joint or soft tissue symptoms. During your consultation and examination, you can expect your doctor to discuss their opinion, the findings of your physical examination, and their reasoning for recommending additional tests or imaging.
What Happens During An MRI Scan?
MRI machines look like big tubes with two open ends. For your test, you will lie on an exam table. Once you are positioned properly and comfortably, the table will slide into one opening of the tube. A microphone allows you and the technologist to talk to one another as needed. When the machine is turned on, a strong magnetic field is created around you. Simultaneously, radio waves are directed toward the area of focus, such as your shoulder or your leg. You will not feel these energies as they are directed at you. Nothing in the machine moves, but you will hear noise from inside the MRI machine. Depending on the nature of your MRI exam and what the technologist is looking for, you may be in the machine for up to 90 minutes.
What Causes The Noise In The Scanner?
During your MRI, you may hear noises that measure about as loud as an alarm clock to as loud as a jackhammer. The decibel levels of the MRI machine are related to the specific procedure that is being performed. Your technologist can explain what you might expect during your screening. They may also provide you with ear protection to diminish the sounds coming from the machine.
The reason an MRI machine makes noise when other forms of imaging do not is that there are coils and a magnetic field involved in this test. The strong magnetic field of the MRI machine sends electrical pulses to the coils, which then cause them to vibrate. The inside of the MRI machine is hollow, so when the coils vibrate, sound is created. What you hear is the result of the waveform of the current that is passing through the coils in the machine. Patients describe MRI sounds as beeping, clanging, clicking, banging, and whirring.
What If I'm Claustrophobic But Need An MRI?
Many people with claustrophobia have completed MRI screenings comfortably and without incident. There are several ways to approach this. One is to talk to your doctor or technologist about your fears. You may be able to observe the MRI machine prior to your test date so you can see that there is an openness that provides a sense of comfort. Depending on the severity of your claustrophobia or another form of anxiety related to lying still or being confined, your doctor may prescribe a sedative for you to take at a predetermined time before your scan. Please do not hesitate to talk to your providers about your concerns. Having an MRI may be necessary, but you will not be asked to "power through" a procedure that can cause significant fear or stress.
"I’m a 63 year old walking and golfing advertisement for this group of doctors. Dr Schwartz has repaired my wrist, my shoulder, and helped with tendinitis in my arms. Dr Han operated on a meniscus tear in my knee. The office is pretty good and they run close to on time. The therapy section is also excellent."