At Desert Orthopaedic Center, our doctors order Magnetic Resonance Imaging to identify injuries and disease conditions. This diagnostic imaging technique uses a strong magnetic field and radiofrequency waves to scan and produce images of the inside of your body. The scans are safe. There is no harmful radiation exposure.
Once ordered, you should receive a call within seven business days to schedule your testing unless your physician has requested an urgent procedure. Payment authorization will be obtained from your insurance company. You will be scheduled at a facility that is contracted with your insurance provider. Feel free to call us to check authorization status. Our phone number is (702) 731-1616.
Our providers perform MRI procedures in-office at our Desert Inn office using a 3 Tesla high field strength system specializing in musculoskeletal (MSK) evaluation. If your insurance will allow you to have a procedure performed at Desert Orthopaedic Center, you will be scheduled on our MRI system. If you are having three or more scans done, we will schedule them on separate days. Your images will be reviewed and interpreted by a fellowship-trained MSK radiologist who is associated with our practice.
To make sure we protect your safety and get the most accurate test results, it is important that you follow some general instructions before your procedure.
- Arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment time. Late arrivals may result in rescheduling. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please give at least a 24-hour notice.
- You will be taken in to the scanning room by the technologist and positioned comfortably on a MR table. A technologist will place a special antenna (coil) on or around the area to be examined. The coil collects signals from your body that are processed into images by a computer. The MR exam table will slide into the magnet so that the area being examined is placed in the very center.
- You will be offered earplugs or special headphones to protect your hearing. The magnet produces a loud rhythmic knocking noise while scanning. The technologist will be talking to you throughout the procedure via a special microphone. You can communicate with the technologist during the scan. However, patient talking may cause motion on certain exams. You must hold still. Remain relaxed and breathe normally. Motion during your scan will blur your images. Other than table vibrations, you will not feel or see anything unusual during the scan which may last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. After the scan, you may resume your normal activities.
- You may be given an injection of a MRI contrast medium during the procedure if medically necessary. This substance helps improve visualization to yield additional information. This contrast agent is not related to the contrast used for X-rays and CT.
- Unless otherwise instructed, you can follow your usual routine, eating normally and taking most regular medications.
- There are no known adverse biological effects from the energies applied during MRI procedures. There are a limited number of situations, which make it impossible to have an MRI scan (e.g., pacemaker, brain aneurysm clips). Most “metals” used for surgery such as screws, plates, pins or staples or dental fillings are safe. Completion of a detailed patient safety questionnaire is required before scanning to ensure that any metal will not create any problems.
- Your doctor may consider medication to help you relax for the procedure although this is usually unnecessary. If you take this medication, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you on the day of your exam.
- You will receive the results of the MRI procedure during your next office visit. Please make certain that you have scheduled an appointment with your DOC provider after the MRI procedure. Bring a CD with any images performed at an outside facility with you to your follow-up appointment.
For more information about the radiologists reviewing your MR images, visit the National Orthopedic Imaging Associates' website at www.orthoimaging.com.