For every patient who goes to his or her orthopedic doctor due to joint pain or muscle pain, chances are the doctor will request imaging tests to be performed. These scans will help the physician to make a correct diagnosis for proper treatment.
One of the most widely used imaging tests for diagnostic purposes is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Many orthopedic practices have their own MRI machine on-site in order to give a quick assessment of the patient’s condition.
Why do orthopedic doctors often choose the MRI over other diagnostic imaging techniques, such as an X-ray? Let’s talk about how MRI scans are implemented in the field of orthopedics and the benefits they offer to both the doctor and patient.
What Is an MRI Machine?
The MRI is a highly advanced and sophisticated machine which is now used in standard diagnostic imaging. There are different types and shapes of MRI machines, but they each use a large magnetic coil, radiofrequency, magnetic fields, and a computer to produce highly detailed images of the body’s tissues.
Whereas an X-ray is often used to take pictures of bones and related structures, an MRI is often used to take pictures of the muscles, nerves, and brain. An MRI scan usually takes from 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
Unlike an X-ray, it uses no radiation. The patient must remove all metal jewelry before the procedure; be sure to notify the radiologist beforehand of any metal in your body, including prosthetics, stents, implants, dental treatments, or a pacemaker. The scan can be affected by anything metallic on or in your body, because a very large magnet is used to perform the scan.
What Can Be Seen on an MRI Scan?
An MRI can reveal many things for your orthopedic doctor’s evaluation, including:
· Images of the bones and joints
· Progression of arthritis
· Presence of tumors or infections
· Bone marrow issues
· Torn ligaments and tendons
· Spinal disc bulges or herniation
· Spine degeneration
· Spinal stenosis
· Structural abnormalities and inflammation of the musculoskeletal system
Why Is an MRI Used for Orthopedics?
An MRI is not only used for diagnostic purposes but also to track the effectiveness of a given treatment, the progression of a disease, or the healing of an injury. MRI scanning produces fast results and high-quality images of the body’s inner structures.
After the procedure, the doctor will be able to make an accurate clinical diagnosis. A treatment plan can then be recommended based on the confirmed diagnosis and the patient’s medical history.
MRI Diagnostic Procedures in Eastern Tennessee
An MRI enables the orthopedic doctors at Watauga Orthopaedics to diagnose a wide range of orthopedic injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. Our MRI machine is available to our patients as part of our on-site services. We will make sure you are comfortable first and foremost before we even begin the procedure.
To address urgent orthopedic issues, such as a broken bone, a sports injury, or a minor injury after an accident, please visit any of our orthopedic urgent care clinics located in our three locations: Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol, Tennessee. Simply walk in. No appointment is necessary.
You can schedule an appointment with any of our orthopedic surgeons by calling Watauga Orthopaedics today at (423) 282-9011 or request an appointment via our online form. We look forward to helping you get back to your active lifestyle!