In addition to general orthopedic services including diagnostic x-rays, the practice also includes a state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit, and an on-site brace/splint service.The diagnostic equipment at WTO features the latest in advanced imaging technology. Together the staff and technology provide you and your physician with the medical images needed to aid in your diagnosis and treatment.
General X-ray is the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. X-ray is the fastest and easiest way for a physician to view and assess broken bones. It can also be used to diagnose and monitor the progression of degenerative diseases. During the procedure, electromagnetic radiation passes through the body onto film. Dense structures such as bone absorb most of the radiation and appear white on developed film. Structures that are less dense appear in lighter shades of gray and black.
MRI is the method of choice for the diagnosis of many types of injuries and conditions because of the incredible ability to tailor the exam to the particular medical question being asked. At WTO, the staff and sophisticated technology provide the medical images needed to aid in your diagnosis and treatment. The following information is provided to answer questions as you prepare for your imaging procedure.
What is MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a very powerful magnet and radio-frequency pulses to collect signals that are then processed by a computer to form a picture of the body part being studied. Images line up like slices from a loaf of bread. MRI provides an unparalleled view inside the human body. MRI gives a detailed picture of the soft tissues of the body (e.g. muscles, ligaments, discs and blood vessels). The level of detail that can be seen is extraordinary compared with any other imaging modality.
Is an MRI safe?
A great number of research studies have demonstrated no danger from an MRI scan. It uses no x-ray radiation. The radiowave pulses are of similar frequency to your radio. The powerful magnet does not have any known side effects.
Will it hurt?
MRI is painless but may be noisy, and since scans take between 15 and 30 minutes you may become a little uncomfortable lying still for that period.
Preparation: In most cases there is no special preparation and you can eat and drink normally. If you think or know that you may have problems with enclosed spaces (claustrophobia) then it is advisable to contact us prior to the scan.
Procedure: You will be asked to complete a safety questionnaire to ensure that you are eligible to be scanned. Certain implants and metallic objects will exclude you from an MRI scan. Anyone with a pacemaker, clips in the brain, cochlear implants or metal chips in their eye must NOT go near such a powerful magnet. You will be provided with a secure site to store your valuables including watch and wallet. Any credit cards taken into the scanner will have their magnetic strips erased.
What if I'm pregnant?
If you are pregnant, or could be pregnant at the time of your appointment, please contact us prior to that time so that the situation can be discussed with your referring doctor. MRI is usually avoided in the first trimester of pregnancy unless the diagnosis cannot wait and your doctor considers MRI to be the best investigation.
When will I get my results?
MRI investigations contain specialized and complex information. A large number of images are produced and review of these images may take several days. Usually the report is available to your doctor the next working day.