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What You Need to Know About Having an MRI

If you have been seen after a recent injury or for a chronic problem, you may have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test ordered to help discover the extent of your injury and to assist in determining the best course of treatment. Patients who have never had an MRI may be unsure or nervous about the test. A better understanding of this diagnostic exam can help ease apprehensions. Keep reading to find out what you need to know.

Kcbj MRI

An MRI is useful because it is able to show images and structures that are not possible to be seen with plain X-rays, and injuries that may not be evident from physical examination alone. In orthopedics, an MRI is useful to show infection, tumors in bone or soft tissues, and damage to soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons or cartilage.


How does an MRI work?

An MRI is performed by a machine which produces a strong magnetic field. Radio waves are then sent through the field and interpreted by computers to show detailed images of structures within the body.

Brandon Saunders, PA-C

This is a painless procedure which may last from 15 minutes to over an hour. MRI machines are typically enclosed tubes, while “open” MRIs have various styles with wider openings.

Brandon Saunders, PA-C

Physician Assistant to John S. Bleazard, DO

You will lie on a table while the MRI is performed and will be asked to remain still. You will likely hear thumping noises coming from the magnet inside the machine.

What You Need to Know Before an MRI:

Before considering an MRI, patients with certain metallic implants should alert their provider. This is due to the strong magnetic field that is generated. Usually, however, the MRI is still safe to perform. Examples may include, but are not limited to:

  • Pacemakers or defibrillators
  • Cochlear implants
  • Artificial heart valves
  • Drug infusion pumps
  • Metal plates, screws, pins, stents, etc.
  • Any other metal in or on your body

After Your Test

A radiologist, who is a doctor trained in reading this type of imaging, will interpret your results and will then send your images and results to your provider. You will then follow up in clinic to go over the results and treatment options, or this may be communicated to you over the phone.

Foot ankle

Brandon Saunders, PA-C

Physician Assistant to John S. Bleazard, DO

Brandon joined Kansas City Bone & Joint in January of 2018 and works with Dr. John Bleazard. He received a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Harding University. Prior to PA school, he worked in the field of microbiology for 13 years.