Musculoskeletal (MSK) MRI assesses the tendons, ligaments, nerves, muscles and bones which hold your body together. MSK imaging is also used to look at the space between your joints and look at why they may be inflamed or have limited movement.
How do I prepare?
- Wear a separate top to bottoms during your appointment. This makes changing for the examination easier.
- There is no special preparation required for MSK.
Technology and Team
We have both 3T and 1.5T MRI machines available across our practices. The number refers to the strength of the magnetic field created by the MRI machine. The 1.5T is still considered completely adequate for most MRI scans, however your referrer may prefer you to have the scan completed on the 3T.
We also have wide bore options in limited locations. The wide bore offers slightly more space inside the MRI tube so it may help those who suffer from claustrophobia.
Your MSK MRI will be performed by an MRI Technician. These technicians are Radiographers who have undergone additional training and exams in order to operate an MRI scanner. The images the MRI captures are viewed by a Radiologist who makes a diagnosis based on what they can see.
What happens during my examination
When entering the MRI room, your MRI Radiographer will explain exactly what will happen during your procedure. It may vary slightly from what we describe below, so don’t worry if this is the case, you’ll always be in very good hands.
MSK MRI’s are most commonly done on your knee, shoulder and ankle joints. You will be asked to lie down on the MRI bed and the Radiographer will do everything they can to make you feel comfortable.
In some cases we will insert an intravenous (IV) line into your arm. We will use this to give you some contrast, which will enhance the images we take of the specific joint or area. Sometimes this contrast is injected directly into the joint.
When the images are being taken, you will hear loud banging noises made by the MRI machine. You’ll be offered headphones through which the MRI Radiographer can talk to you and play a selection of music to help reduce the noise and pass time more quickly. You will be given a button to press should you at any time want to talk to the Radiographer or stop the exam.
Once in position the MRI Radiographer will leave the room, and the bed will move slowly into the scanner so you are positioned in the centre of the machine.
You will need to lay very still for up to 20 minutes.
After your examination
The results of your MSK MRI will be sent directly to your referring Doctor. Please ensure you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results with them.
The cost of an MRI will depend on the reason for your scan. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.