MRI: No More Claustrophobia!
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an imaging test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to create detailed images of the body that are not usually visible with other diagnostic images. An MRI often gives different information about the body through the image than can be seen with an x-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan. As a podiatrist I may order an MRI to help me diagnose several types of issues including injuries like sprains and tears to bone infections like osteomyelitis.
An MRI requires the area of the body being studied to be placed inside a machine that contains a strong magnet. Usually these machines are very large and require the patient to lie in a tube or tightly enclosed area. Most often, regardless of what part of the body is being imaged, a patient must lay with their entire body enclosed in a tight space. Once positioned in the machine the imaging begins. A typical MRI will take 45-90 minutes to complete. The images from the MRI scan are digital and can be saved and stored on a computer for more study. Digital images can be viewed from virtually anywhere including on a home computer, tablet, and can even be shown in the operating room during surgery.
As mentioned earlier, most MRI machines require someone to lie in a tightly enclosed space. In podiatry, we typically only call for MRI images of the lower leg like the ankle or foot. At St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we questioned why it was necessary for our patient to lay entirely in a tight space when we are only imaging the lower leg. Based on patient feedback we found that this can be very uncomfortable. To address this concern for our patients and provide a better service we invested in an extremity only MRI machine. This type of machine only requires you to put your leg into an enclosed space as opposed to the entire body. After two years of using this machine we have found that our patients are far more comfortable. This has allowed us to perform more MRI’s on patients that would normally prefer not to. Further, this has led to improved care because we have been able to diagnose problems that we would not be able to without the MRI and also make the diagnosis much more quickly. That’s a great win for our patients!
If your doctor has requested that you get an MRI performed on your leg (knee, ankle, foot) or your arm (elbow, wrist, hand) and you are anxious about lying in a tightly enclosed space, please give us a call so we can help! Once we complete the MRI we can get the image to your doctor in about 24 hours time. Or if you prefer to work with us on your lower extremity issue we can do that also.
With our experience at St. Augustine Foot and Ankle we will do everything we can to make you feel comfortable so your MRI can be performed without issue. If you are in need of an MRI or if you are feeling pain in your foot or ankle of any kind please give us a call to set an appointment as soon as possible at (904) 824-0869 or feel free to email us at email@example.com.