Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) combines a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce highly detailed images of the body’s anatomy that can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions.
MRI images allow our Radiologists to make a diagnosis based on the difference between healthy and diseased tissues. MRI is a good way to visualize the brain, spine, joints, soft tissues, blood vessels, abdomen, and pelvis.
Before Your MRI Scan
You will be required to fill out an MRI screening form at your doctor’s office. We use this form to identify any metal, implants, or devices that may not be safe to go inside the scanner’s magnetic field.
Some of the questions we ask are:
- Do you have metal in your eyes or other parts of your body (i.e. shrapnel, slivers from the grinding or welding), an X-ray may be performed to “clear” you to safely have an MRI.
- Have you have had surgery on your eyes, ears, brain, heart, or chest?
- Are are pregnant or nursing?
- Are you Claustrophobic? Our Toshiba Opart is open on all 4 sides and provides a much less claustrophobic feeling to make our patients as comfortable as possible during their procedure. If you are claustrophobic or unable to lie flat comfortably, please inform your doctor prior to your MRI for special instructions. Coastal Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center offers an Open type of scanner. Please call (772) 335-5300 Port St. Lucie or (772) 283-5500 Stuart.
- Do you have a cardiac pacemaker?
- Do you have cerebral aneurysm clips? (brain clips)
- Do you have a Neurostimulator? (TENS or ANS unit)
- Do you have a cochlear (ear) implant?
- Do you have a heart valve?
- Do you have wear a hearing aid?
- Do you have metal implants?
The Day of Your Scan
- Follow your daily routine; take any prescribed medicines.
- Wear comfortable clothing that does not contain metal (such as sweat pants, sweatshirts, and sports bra)
- Your MRI scan may take up to 1 hour, but allow extra time for check in.
- Hearing aids and any other electronic or metal device will need to be removed before entering the MRI scan room. These devices can be damaged by the magnetic field.
- Lockers are provided for wallets, key chains, watches, and other personal items.
- Please remove as much jewelry as possible prior to arriving for your scan.
- Check the MRI Preparation section at the bottom of this page to see a list of more instructions for your specific scan.
What to Expect During Your Scan
- The scan is painless, simple and safe.
- An MRI generally lasts 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the type of scan your doctor has prescribed.
- The Technologist will escort you from the changing area to the scan room.
- The Technologist will help you lie as comfortably as possible on the table.
- The table will slide slowly into the magnet placing the body part being scanned as close as possible to center of the magnet.
- The magnet stays open on all 4 sides, and once in position, the table does not move during the exam.
- You will hear gentle thumping, whirring, and knocking noises while in the machine. Earplugs or earphones with music will be provided.
- The Technologist will stay in constant communication with you by talking to you in between scans. You can be heard at all times.
- In some cases, for better images, a contrast agent (Gadolinium) is used. It is a clear fluid injected into the vein in your arm.
For Best Results
It is very important that you remain motionless and relaxed during the entire scan.
By focusing on the Technologist’s instructions, you can help speed up the scan.
Patients’ preparation varies depending on the part of your body being scanned. Please follow the instructions below. If you are not sure which instructions to follow, or have any questions, please call our office and speak with your physician's medical assistant.
It is important to always take your regular medications, including the day of the MRI scan, unless your doctor has instructed you otherwise.
- Head Scan: No special preparation required.
- Brain: No special preparation required.
- Neck: No special preparation required.
- Cervical Spine: No special preparation required.
- Thoracic Spine: No special preparation required.
- Lumbar Spine: No special preparation required.
- Extremities/Joints: No special preparation required.
After Your Scan
You can get back to your normal diet and activities right away. If you were given contrast, it will pass naturally through your body with in 18 to 24 hours. It will be colorless and odorless.
An appointment will be scheduled with your doctor to review and discuss your results.
Coastal Orthopaedics MRI has been thoroughly tested and has passed the strictest of standards to achieve accreditation by the American College of Radiology. Our Chief Technologist is also certified in the discipline of MRI by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
For more information, call 772-878-8858.