Feb 12, 2015


Been in an accident and looking for a Marietta MRI scan?

This will help you answer the questions you might be asking about the common forms of MRI testing.

Common MRI Questions

You may have seen signs for Open MRI. Now, what exactly does an MRI do, and when is it important to get an MRI done?

1. How long does it last?

That depends on the part of the body that is being scanned, but most areas take between 20 and 45 minutes to image. The neck, whether a scan of the cervical spine or soft tissue, is more like 35 minutes.

The upper spine takes up to 45 minutes, and the lower back up to 35. It depends on the circumference of the area being scanned – bigger parts take longer.

2. Will I be awake?

Yes, you’ll be awake, although if you feel concerned about a feeling of claustrophobia in the small scanning space, you may be able to receive a calming sedative.

3. Will it hurt?

Not at all. You won’t feel anything, and the only thing that you should experience is the loud click of the machine as it operates. If this is problematic for you, ask the technicians to give you a set of ear plugs.

4. What part of my body is in the scanner?

Whatever part of your body is being imaged will be placed in the center of the machine. If this is your abdomen or lower, your head will be out of the machine most of the time. However, if it’s your neck being scanned, your head will be inside of it.

5. What are the health complications that step from an MRI?

None, that’s because the MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves, not radiation, to assemble the image. However, if you use a pacemaker or an aneurysm clip, then you should not be exposed to the MRI.

6. What is an MRI Shoulder Arthrogram?

This scans your shoulder in the event of an instability of the joint, or to get a better look at what may be damaged soft tissue that is difficult to see. The injection of a suitable dye (gadolinium) into the joint is preceded by an anesthetic.

The dye may sting a bit as it enters the body, and will cause the joint to feel swollen and sore for upwards of two days, after which time it will return to normal. For 24 hours you’ll have to calm down.

7. What does the MRI machine look like?

It’s a table that is covered by a large, donut shaped scanner that moves over your body. There is an intercom system so that while you’re immobile in the machine, you can communicate with the technician.

If you have more questions about an MRI scan, and if you may require one for an injury, you can speak with your doctor or a doctor of chiropractic who specializes in after injury care.