Shoulder MRI Procedures for Arthritic Patients

January 19, 2017 – 3 min read

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If you suffer from arthritis in one or both of your shoulders, your doctor may order a shoulder MRI scan to help them evaluate and treat your pain. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test is a procedure that produces detailed images of your shoulder joint, including the bones, tendons, blood vessels and muscles inside it, by using radio waves and a magnetic field. If you’ve never had an MRI before, the prospect of having one can be frightening, but it doesn’t need to be. Here’s what you need to know before, during, and after your shoulder MRI.

Preparing for Your Shoulder MRI

Your doctor or the imaging facility may give you specific instructions to follow before your MRI. Be sure to follow those instructions carefully. It’s important to let the radiologist or MRI technician know if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye, if you have any serious health conditions, if you’ve had any recent surgeries, or if there is any chance that you are pregnant. Patients who are claustrophobic may also want to ask their doctors for a mild sedative before the procedure, to help calm their nerves.

The Day of Your MRI

On the day of your MRI, leave jewelry at home, if possible. You’ll need to remove jewelry, watches, hearing aids, body piercings, hair pins, removable dental work, eyeglasses, pens and any other metal objects, as metal and electronic items of any kind can interfere with the MRI technology and distort the image. A contrast dye may be injected into your shoulder joint. This is called “arthrography,” and it provides more detailed images of your shoulder joint. The procedure itself should be painless, however your shoulder may feel warm. You’ll be asked to lie down on a moveable exam table that will slide into the machine. If your test includes a contrast dye, you may be hooked up to an IV line. During the test, you will be alone in the room, but the MRI technician will still be able to see and hear you. The technician will control the machine to take a series of images of your shoulder. The technician will probably want to take several series of images for your doctor. Each series will take several minutes, but the entire MRI process is typically completed in 15-45 minutes. If you weren’t sedated, there’s no recovery time needed after your shoulder MRI.

After Your MRI

The MRI technician will provide the images to a radiologist to read and interpret them. The radiologist will then provide the results of their review to your doctor, so they can work with you on an appropriate treatment plan for your shoulder pain. For financing options go to bad credit rating payday loans

Contact AHI to Schedule Your Shoulder MRI Today!

American Health Imaging (AHI) offers the same quality MRI scans you could get at a hospital, but at a much lower cost. To learn more about having an MRI for your shoulder, and to explore why patients across Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Texas are turning to AHI in increasing numbers for MRI scans, contact us today.