Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI scanning is used to investigate a wide variety of orthopaedic conditions. The scanner uses a powerful magnet and sensors to construct a three dimensional picture. It is particularly good at looking at ligaments, tendons, muscles and cartilage.

If you have any metallic items in your body (such as a metal heart valve, metal clips, a pacemaker or metal fragments in the eyes) you must tell the doctor and radiographer doing the scan. It may still be safe for you to have an MRI scan or you may be advised against having the scan. There is no evidence that MRI scanning is harmful in pregnancy, but as a precaution it is usually avoided, particularly in the first three months.

When you go for an MRI scan you will be asked to stay very still on a flat bed. For some people this can be uncomfortable so you are advised to take your usual pain relief before hand if you think you might struggle. Keeping still is important because otherwise the pictures will be blurred and can be hard to interpret. If you have severe claustrophobia please talk to your doctor as the scan will involve the affected body part going into a relatively confined space.