Understanding the MRI
Like a standard MRI or magnetic resonance imaging machine, the Standing MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to generate a detailed 2D or 3D computer image of the human body. The MRI does not rely on ionizing radiation, which is used for general x-rays and CT scans.
The 2D or 3D images that are produced by MRI are detailed, so they not only help identify injuries and issues but can also be used to help determine their severity. Common problems that can be assessed by our MRI scanner include injuries and pain of the lower back, neck, foot, ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, hand and wrist. (No brain, chest, abdomen general MRI scanning).
Improved assessment of injuries and illnesses
The standard MRI has a limitation, however. It can only generate these 2D or 3D images with the patient lying down. For a range of health problems, our MRI scanner has the ability to place the patient in a variety of positions — which means we can assess what happens when the patient has to bear their own weight. This provides many potential benefits:
- We may be able to scan patients in the specific position in which they feel pain.
- By placing patients in a weight bearing position, we may be able to better identify the origin and severity of an injury or issue.
- We may be able to better understand the biomechanical behaviour of the injury or issue.
- We may be able to assess the part that posture plays in the injury or issue.
- We may be able to better evaluate post-surgical tissues.
- In a range of cases, we can identify an injury or issue that a standard lying down MRI can’t.
Preparing for a visit to the Standing MRI
Unlike some medical diagnostic techniques, having an MRI won’t cause undue pain or any ill-effect. Best of all, for people who suffer from claustrophobia or a similar anxiety, our MRI scanner is not fully enclosed. Its open features make it more friendly for people who suffer from claustrophobia, compared with the traditional tunnel MRI scanners that are more enclosed.
All you need to do to prepare for the standing MRI is to remove your mobile phone, credit cards, jewellery and other metallic objects, because they can interfere with the MRI’s magnets and the quality of the images. The exam generally takes 45-60 minutes to complete and is usually a comfortable experience for the patient; they just hear the various noises of the electromagnetic scanner – earplugs/headphones are not essential for most scans.
Traditional MRI scan on the left; standing MRI scan on the right. The scan under weight bearing load on the right shows the extent of the injury to the knee and gives specialists the knowledge they need to provide the best treatment.
The scan under weight bearing conditions on the right accentuates the damage to the spine and gives specialists a better understanding of the injury.