Resources

Q

What is an MRI of the joints and extremities?

A

MRI Knee

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a method of producing detailed pictures of organs and body tissues by exposing a patient to radio waves in a strong magnetic field. The field is measured and analyzed by a computer, which forms two- or three-dimensional images that may be viewed on a monitor. Because it uses radio waves and a magnetic field rather than x-rays, there is no exposure to radiation. An MRI can be used to examine every joint in the body. Most commonly the spine, knee and shoulder are viewed, but the procedure also can be performed on the hips, wrists, and hands. An MRI is often the best choice when examining joints because it provides very clear pictures of the soft tissue near and around the bones. The procedure often is used to diagnose sports-related injuries and work-related injuries.

Q

Why might my doctor recommend an MRI of the joints or extremities?

A

Your doctor may recommend an MRI of the joints or extremities to identify and locate the cause of bleeding, swelling or pain in your bones and muscles. Small tears to muscles, ligaments and tendons also can be detected. An MRI of the joints or extremities can be used to present a clear picture of degenerative disorders such as arthritis. In addition, an MRI of the joints and extremities sometimes is used to identify tumors and infections in the bone and joints and masses in the soft tissue.