An MRI scan uses magnets and radio waves to capture images of your body’s internal structures. The scan allows your doctor to see your bones as well as soft tissues of the body, including muscles, ligaments, tendons, and even nerves and blood vessels.
While an MRI can be performed on any part of your body, a shoulder MRI scan specifically helps your doctor see the bones, blood vessels, and tissues in your shoulder region.Unlike X-rays and CT scans, an MRI uses no radiation and is considered a safer alternative, especially for pregnant women and children.
The shoulder is a large and complicated joint that we use on a daily basis. It’s made up of three major bones. This makes it the most mobile joint in the body. As a result, numerous problems can affect our shoulders.
Pain or an injury are the main reasons your doctor might order an MRI scan. The injury could be the result of an impact, or simply the effect of long-term wear and tear on the joint. Specific problems that could require a shoulder MRI scan include:
In some cases, an MRI scan can help your doctor track the effect of surgeries, medications, or physical therapy on your shoulder.
Preparation for MRI shoulder
The MRI technician should be informed if you have any inner ear implants, artificial joints, a defibrillator or pacemaker, particular types of heart valves, vascular stents, brain aneurysm clips.
The staff will ask you to remove anything that contains metal, including jewelry, sunglasses or any electronic gadgets. All these interferes with the MRI machine’s ability to produce a clear image. Braces and dental fillings will typically not pose a problem, but pens, pins, and certain dental appliances can interfere.
In the case of implants and pacemakers, those items can stop working properly due to an MRI’s magnetic field.
You will be asked to wear a hospital gown or clothing that doesn’t contain metal fasteners.
Lastly if you’re pregnant , kindly inform the staff.
Procedure for MRI shoulder
During the exam, you will be asked to stay still to obtain the clearest images. You’ll lie on your back on the table and slide into the machine. A technician will place small coils around your shoulder to improve the quality of the scan images..
The machine will make loud whirring and thumping noises as the images are being recorded. The scanning will be loud in nature and these banging noises are normal with the machine. There is no need of worrying or fear. You can also ask for ear plug if noise is more than bearable limits.
As the pictures are being taken, the technician will ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds. You won't feel anything during the test.
A typical shoulder MRI takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.You may receive a contrast solution, usually gadolinium, intravenously to allow the MRI machine to see certain parts of the cervical spine more easily, particularly your blood vessels.
There are no risks associated with the MRI itself. There is a very slight chance that you will have an allergic reaction to a contrast solution. Tell the medical staff if you have decreased kidney function; it may not be safe to use contrast solution if this is the case.
Once the images are produced, A radiologist will analyze your MRI images and your results will be available