MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. It is a painless, non-invasive procedure that creates detailed images of the inside of your body with a scanner that uses a strong magnetic field.

MRI scans can image bone as well as show soft tissue areas of your body. They are often used to examine joints, because they can show injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, cartilage and bone marrow. Your scan will help Mr. Cole decide whether your injury needs surgery.

In some instances, the area that Mr. Cole wishes to investigate will be injected with a special dye called a contrast agent. This will help make the scan clearer and assist Mr. Cole in his assessment.

Although MRI is completely harmless for most people, anyone who may have metal clips in their head or a pacemaker in their bodies will not be able to have a scan. Mr. Cole and your radiographer will discuss this with you in detail prior to your scan.

The scanner itself resembles a short tunnel which is open at both ends. The scan involves lying on a bed that moves through the scanner. Most scans take 15 to 30 minutes, although some can last as long as one hour.

Photo by Ikonoklast_Fotografie/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Ikonoklast_Fotografie/iStock / Getty Images

MRI arthrogram

An MRI arthrogram is a magnetic resonance image that uses a special dye to show up your shoulder joint’s structures more clearly. The dye, called a contrast agent, is injected into the area being investigated. It will help make the scan clearer and assist Mr. Cole in his assessment of your injury. It is particularly useful in diagnosing instability, labral damage and SLAP tears. It will also give clear views of the rotator cuff tendons.

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