One of the most widely used imaging tests for diagnostic purposes is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These scans will help your provider to make a correct diagnosis for proper treatment. Many orthopedic practices have their own MRI machine on-site in order to give a quick assessment of the patient’s condition.

Why do orthopedic doctors often choose the MRI over other diagnostic imaging techniques, such as an X-ray? Let’s talk about how MRI scans are implemented in the field of orthopedics and the benefits they offer to both the doctor and patient.

What Is an MRI?

The MRI is a highly advanced and sophisticated machine which is now used in standard diagnostic imaging. There are different types and shapes of MRI machines, but they each use a large magnetic coil, radiofrequency waves, and a computer to produce highly detailed images of the body’s tissues.

Whereas an X-ray is often used to take pictures of bones and related structures, an MRI is often used to take pictures of the soft tissue structures such as muscle, nerves, ligaments and tendons. MRI is the also used for imaging the spinal canal and brain. Unlike an X-ray, it uses no radiation.

What to expect for your MRI procedure?

You may be receiving a phone call prior to your MRI exam date to review a series of MRI safety questions about your surgical history. It is very important to answer these questions as accurately as you can. Once you arrive for your appointment, the technologist will review the MRI safety questions with you. Dress comfortable as you will be asked to change into a gown and remove your jewelry if possible.

What Can Be Seen on an MRI Scan?

An MRI can reveal many things for your provider’s evaluation, including:

  • Images of the bones and joints
  • Progression of arthritis
  • Presence of tumors or infections
  • Bone marrow issues
  • Torn ligaments and tendons
  • Spinal disc bulges or herniation
  • Spine degeneration
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Structural abnormalities and inflammation of the musculoskeletal system

An MRI is not only used for diagnostic purposes but also to track the effectiveness of a given treatment, the progression of a disease, or the healing of an injury. MRI scanning produces fast results and high-quality images of the body’s inner structures.

After the procedure, the doctor will be able to make an accurate clinical diagnosis. A treatment plan can then be recommended based on the confirmed diagnosis and given medical history.

MRI Diagnostic Procedures at LOG

An MRI enables the providers at Lancaster Orthopedic Group to diagnose a wide range of orthopedic injuries and musculoskeletal conditions . Our MRI machine is located at the main office on Granite Run Drive and is available to our patients as part of our on-site services. LOG has received MRI accreditation as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR) in July of 2022.