MRI FAQ

MRI: A Fast, Simple Examination

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a safe, totally painless way for your physician to look into your body.  The pictures created during the exam look at the soft tissue and provide information that can improve the diagnosis.  Here we have provided answers to some frequently asked questions.

How long will the exam take?
Most exams take less than an hour to complete.

How should I prepare for the MRI exam?
You can eat, drink, and take regularly-prescribed medications prior to the exam.  If you will be having a leg exam, you can bring some shorts to wear.  Otherwise, you may be asked to change into a hospital gown to avoid any possibility of interference from metal in zippers and fasteners.

You will be asked to remove your watch, credit cards, jewelry, keys, pocket knife, hearing aid, or any other metal objects before approaching the MRI. The magnet could affect the items of this type or the items could affect the magnet.

What do MR Images look like?
MR images look a lot like a conventional x-ray; however, they provide much more detailed information. The images will be provided to the radiologist for interpretation.

Will I feel anything?
No. There is no pain, vibration or unusual sensation. The MRI will produce a mild tapping sound during the exam.

What is MR imaging?
MRI is a way of looking inside the body without x-rays.  The exam uses radiowaves and a magnetic field to create images of the soft tissues of the body.  These images are then transferred onto an x-ray so the doctor can interpret them.

How is the MRI performed?
You will be asked to recline in a comfortable chair and the technologist will position you.  The chair will be moved toward the magnet opening and you will insert the body part to be scanned.  Only the extremity being imaged will be inside the magnet, so your head and body will remain outside at all times.  You will be asked to lay still during the examination.

What do I need to do during the exam?
Nothing! Just recline in the exam chair and relax. You will be free to read, sleep or watch TV during the exam.

What if I have more questions?
Your physician or the MRI technologist will answer any questions you may have. Feel free to call us toll free at 1-800-FOOT-DOC.

Special Notes:
Please DO NOT bring the following (or any other metal items) into the exam room:

  • Jewelry
  • Credit cards
  • Pocket knife
  • Money clip
  • Keys
  • Watch
Tell the doctor and the technologist if you have:
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Metal plate
  • Metal pins
  • Cardiac pacemaker
  • Joint replacements
  • If you think you are pregnant