If you’ve ever experienced a health issue that required a diagnosis, you may have been asked to undergo an MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful diagnostic tool that uses a combination of large magnets and radio waves to produce detailed, three-dimensional images of the internal structures in your body.
At times, conventional X-rays and CT scans can be limiting in terms of producing clear and comprehensive images of certain areas of concern in your body, such as the feet and ankles. This is where an MRI can be of immense help. MRIs are particularly adept at producing high-resolution images of soft tissues in the body, such as tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
MRI is commonly used to diagnose several health problems and conditions, including arthritis, fractures, infections, injuries of the tendons, ligaments, or cartilage, tumors, and more. Unlike X-rays and CT scans, MRIs use no radiation, which makes them a safer alternative, especially for frequent imaging protocols.
However, not everyone can have an MRI. Individuals with certain medical conditions may not be good candidates for an MRI. These include people with a heart pacemaker, artificial heart valves, electronic inner ear implants, electronic stimulators, implanted pumps, metal fragments in their eyes, or surgical clips in their head. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM recommends patients with these conditions consult with their primary care physician before undergoing an MRI.
One of the major advantages of an MRI is the ability to detect and diagnose problems early on. Early detection of medical problems can be key to preventing unnecessary complications in the future.
A full exam of the foot and ankle via MRI typically lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. During this time, a patient lays in the MRI machine, which produces a series of loud thumping and banging sounds, while the machine scans the body.
In conclusion, MRI is a powerful diagnostic tool that can produce detailed images of the internal structures of the body, particularly in soft tissues like the foot and ankle. It is a safe and noninvasive alternative to X-rays and CT scans, especially when frequent imaging is required. However, as with any diagnostic test or procedure, it is important to consult with a physician to determine if MRI is suitable for you. If you are in need of a foot and ankle MRI, Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is a certified podiatrist who can provide more information about the procedure and help guide you through the process.