Basics of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
At Palm Beach Sports Medicine, cutting edge digital MRI radiology techniques such as 3D reconstruction and ultra sound imaging equipment are on site administered by expert technicians and reviewed by our Doctors.
At Palm Beach Sports Medicine, MRI is just one of the methods we use to uncover the source of your pain, so we can resolve the real issue, not just your symptoms.
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, an alternative to traditional X-ray imaging of advanced computed tomography (CT) that does not use radiation. Instead, it uses magnetic fields to gather high-resolution images of your bones and soft tissues, producing a series of cross-sectional images of your body.
MRI often provides us with important information pertaining to your injury. For instance, it is useful in detecting torn knee ligaments, cartilage loss, torn rotator cuffs, herniated discs, and more.
At Palm Beach Sports Medicine, we use the sophisticated GE Optima 450W Widebore MRI. We made this investment because it offers patients a more comfortable and spacious scanning area, unlike closed-bore MRI devices that can cause anxious reactions among some patients.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the MRI work?
The MRI device we use at Palm Beach Sports Medicine uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to scan your body and produce detailed pictures that cannot be generated by conventional x-rays.
The MRI creates a magnetic field around you as you lie comfortably on its table, then pulses radio waves through the area of your body that needs to be imaged. The combination of magnetism and radio waves, causes your body to emit radio signals that are converted to images by our computers.
Your doctor uses these images to assist in making a diagnosis and designing a treatment plan that is right for you.
You won’t feel any pain during your MRI session.
What if I don’t like confined spaces (claustrophobic)?
Palm Beach Sports Medicine has the largest patient opening in the MRI industry. The 450W can accommodate larger patients with ease, and is tolerated by most people who have a fear of confined spaces.
What should I share with my physician prior to the MRI?
At Palm Beach Sports Medicine, we want to be sure every procedure we schedule for you is safe. That is why we will ask you to let us know about conditions that might keep you from benefitting from the MRI procedure.
You CANNOT have an MRI scan if you have any of the following:
- Artificial heart valve
- Cochlear implant
- Possibility of pregnancy
It is extremely important to tell your physician if you have any metallic objects in your body, or if you simply suspect their presence. These may pose a risk to you during the MRI scan, or interfere with the integrity of the examination itself. Metallic objects include, but are not limited to:
- Surgical clips
- Joint and bone pins
- Metal plates
- Embedded bullets, shrapnel, or BB shot
How do I prepare for the MRI?
On the day of your exam, limit the amount of fluids you drink before you come to the office. You will have to remain still for 30 to 60 minutes while the MRI is in progress, and you don’t want to be worried about having a full bladder.
Except for that, just go about your normal routine.
Keep in mind that nothing metallic can go through the MRI’s magnetic field. When you arrive at the office, you will be asked to remove anything metallic such as hearing aids, watches, jewelry, and hairpins. This includes any metals used in piercings. Please allow your technologist to store these and other personal belongings for safekeeping during your MRI.
What will happen during the examination?
You will relax while lying on your back with your arms at your sides. You will need to lie still until the scan is complete, so be sure you are comfortable before the test begins. You will not feel anything during the exam.
Because we know it is a lot to ask people to remain still for 30 to 60 minutes, we have a music library for your listening pleasure, and you are also invited to bring a CD from home for us to play for you while your MRI is in progress.
If you need to talk to the technologist during your exam, there is a two-way intercom for communication.
How long does the MRI take?
An MRI usually take between 20 to 30 minutes; however, the total time will vary based on the specific area of the body and types of images we need to gather.
Are there any risks or precautions I should be aware of?
Because MRI uses no radiation, but only magnetic fields and radio waves, there are no known harmful effects to having an MRI scan.
Where do I go for my MRI?
At Palm Beach Sports Medicine, your MRI will be performed in the comfort of our office. Just enter the main lobby as you would for a regular office visit.
How do I obtain a copy of my MRI report?
All you have to do is ask. It isn’t available right away, but if you give us 24 hours’ notice, we can have a copy prepared for you. Please note that we may charge a minimal fee for preparing copies of your MRI images.