The imaging services department of Tidewater Orthopaedics offers two X-ray suites, ultrasound, and an extremity MRI machine. The X-ray suites are both digital rooms, which will allow the doctors to see the images on a computer screen for better quality and accuracy of diagnosis. Ultrasound allows for a minimally invasive, conservative, low-cost diagnostic procedure. The extremity MRI machine is as strong as the larger machines without all the noise and claustrophobic environment. It allows you to sit in a recliner-like chair with the affected extremity only in the machine. If we are doing your lower extremity, you may even read a book (no ebook readers) or magazine and have a cup of coffee!
The staff of radiologic technologists are certified through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and must complete continuing education throughout the year. Each staff member is dedicated to furthering their knowledge base so that we can better serve your imaging needs.
MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging and is a non-invasive, pain free, advanced imaging technique that uses a powerful magnetic field to produce radiofrequency pulses that are directed through the area of interest and give a detailed image. These images assist your doctor in the diagnosis and treatment of bone, soft tissue, tendon, or ligament injuries and other abnormalities.
How do I Prepare for the Exam?
- We request that you arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled scan to complete paperwork and change clothes, if necessary.
- You may eat normally and take your medication as directed by your doctor, including pain medication.
- Please wear loose, comfortable clothing without metal such as zippers, hooks, clasps, buckles, snaps, underwire, or bra hooks.
- Avoid wearing anything metal such as jewelry, watches, or hair accessories.
- For your convenience, we will provide an area for your hearing aid, removable dental work, credit cards, keys, and pocket change.
- If you have any metal in your body such as plates, screws, metallic fragments, metal picked from your eyes, or drug infusion pumps, please let the technologist know.
- Scans take anywhere from 30 - 60 minutes. Anyone coming with you will need to wait in the main waiting room. No children should come with you to the appointment unless there is someone to watch them.
What Should I Expect When I Arrive for the MRI Scan?
- You will be greeted by one of the friendly front office staff who will help you fill out your paperwork. They will begin by reviewing the series of questions regarding your medical history.
- Once the paperwork is complete, the MRI technologist will prepare you for your exam by instructing you to remove all metal from your belongings.
- Next, the technologist will take you to the MRI scan room. The MRI machine is sufficiently large, and the body part being imaged will be in the center of the machine. You will lie down in a recliner, which is close to the scanner.
- The technologist will leave the room, but you will be able to communicate with the technologist at all times. The technologist will view you at all times through a large window; you will never be left alone.
- When the MRI scan begins, you will hear a tapping sound that will continue for several minutes. There will be a few pauses in the tapping during the processes.
- Do your best to lie as still as possible since any movement will affect the pictures. Any motion may mean you will have to repeat the process. Try to relax; you can even take a nap.
- Other than the tapping sounds, you should experience no other sensation.
- The scan is usually completed in 30 to 45 minutes, after which the technologist will help you off the table and you may go home and resume your daily activities.
- If you do not have a follow up appointment, the technologist will take you to our check out area and one will be made.
Please notify the technologist if you have any of the following in your body:
- Cardiac pacemaker
- Cerebral aneurysm clip
- Cochlear ear implant
- Metal fragment picked from your eyes
- Metal prosthesis of joints
If you have any implants, please bring any information, including make and model number if you have it, so we can make sure that it is MRI safe. You may call in advance if you have this information to find out if it is safe or not.