MRI in Your Future? Read This First

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a tool used by doctors of all specialties to visualize and diagnose internal structures. It provides a more detailed look than an x-ray can. With an MRI the doctor can also image organs and soft tissues, not just bones. 

Why Do I Need an MRI?

Your doctor may recommend an MRI of your foot to determine several different diagnoses:

  • Soft tissue injury (ligaments, tendons, etc.)
  • Arthritis 
  • Gout 
  • Morton’s neuroma
  • Infection in the bone or deep in the tissue
  • Cancerous tumors
  • Stress fracture

How Does an MRI Work?

An MRI machine combines magnetism and radio waves to create images. The water molecules in your body are momentarily organized by the magnetic field, while the radio waves bounce off of these molecules and create the image of the surrounding area. This procedure is painless. Sometimes the radiologist will also inject an intravenous dye to enhance the image. 

The procedure can be noisy, so you will be offered earplugs to be able to listen to music. 

Unlike brain MRIs, your head and torso will not be inside the tube. Instead, only the foot and lower leg will be imaged as you sit by the machine. You will need to stay completely still so that the radiologist technician can get clear pictures. 

What Should I Do to Prepare for an MRI?

Before an MRI, tell your doctor if there is any chance you could be pregnant. To avoid any unnecessary risk to the baby, your doctor may elect to cancel the MRI. 

Because of the magnetic field produced by the MRI machine, it is very important to communicate about any metal objects on or in your person. Remove any jewelry, dentures, or accessories that contain metal. Make sure your doctor knows about tattoos, implants, and other objects that are in your body. Patients with pacemakers, artificial heart valves, or metal screws and plates may be able to have an MRI done if their device is certified MRI-safe. Make sure of this before going in for your appointment. 

How Do I Get My Results?

After the MRI the images will be sent to a radiologist for interpretation. He will then pass along the results to your doctor who will explain them to you. 

Clinical Correlation

At times, the report may include a note stating that a “clinical correlation” is indicated or has occurred. This means that the radiologist or physician has considered other factors beyond the imaging. Things such as your symptoms, lab results, and other comorbidities were needed to help reach a more conclusive diagnosis. 

Feel free to ask your doctor any questions you have about your diagnosis or treatment options moving forward. You have the right and the responsibility to have full information and make decisions for your care. 

At Best Foot Doctor NY we take every effort to ensure that you are well taken care of. Our state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained staff will provide the best care for you and your loved ones.

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