A magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) is used to diagnose a disease or injury by using powerful magnets, radio waves, and a computer. These are used to create a detailed picture of the body without using radiation. A MRI can also be used to see how well a patient is responding to treatment.

MRIs can be taken on any part of the body. A MRI of the brain and spinal cord is used to show blood vessel damage, brain injury, cancer, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and strokes. Bone and joint MRIs are used to discover bone infections, cancer, damage to joints, and disc problems in the spine.

When preparing for a MRI let your doctor know if you have any health problems, recently have had surgery, have any allergies to food or medicine, have asthma, are pregnant or might be pregnant. Metal is not allowed in a room where a MRI takes place. If you have a metal-based device such as an artificial heart valve, body piercing, cochlear implant, drug pump, metal joints or limbs, etc. tell your doctor before the test begins. Some ink may contain metal, so make certain to talk with your doctor if you have tattoos. Before going into the MRI room remove your cell phone, coins, dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids, keys, underwire bra, watch, and wig.

When the patient is ready for the MRI, they will lie on a table that slides in and out of the MRI machine. During the MRI the body must be completely still, straps may be used to help keep the patient motionless. While in the machine the patient may hear a loud thumping or tapping sound; this is the machine creating energy to take pictures. A MRI may cause a twitching sensation due to the nerves being stimulated.

Carolina Regional Orthopaedics leases a 1.5T Mobile MRI System that resides on the premises at least one day a week for the convenience of our patients. Appointments and results are obtained by staff at Carolina Regional Orthopaedics. Readings and interpretations are performed by radiologists in Chapel Hill, NC. Please visit the Alliance Imaging website to learn more about the MRI we use and additional patient information.

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