Why Would You Need an MRI?
MRIs are an inevitable part of life for many people. Nobody expects to need an MRI, but a lot of the times you don’t have a choice. To those people who have never gotten one, it might be difficult to imagine their purpose. In order to help everyone understand what an MRI is used for, we have come up with a brief list of 5 common MRI uses. Make sure to check with your doctor if you think an MRI would help you!
1. Heart & Blood Vessels
Many MRIs focus on the heart, one of the body’s most important organs. It can be scary if you don’t know what’s going on with your heart, but luckily MRIs can help figure it out! An MRI that focuses on the heart or blood vessels can assess not only the size and function of the heart's chambers, but also thickness and movement of the walls of the heart. Also it can find the extent of damage caused by heart attack or heart disease. Lastly, an MRI of the heart is used to diagnose structural problems in the aorta, such as aneurysms or dissections and inflammation or blockages in the blood vessels.
2. Brain & Spinal Cord
MRI is the most frequently used imaging test of the brain and spinal cord. It's often performed to help diagnose aneurysms, eye and inner ear disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, stroke, tumors. Functional MRI of the brain (fMRI) can be used to identify important language and movement control areas in the brain in people who are being considered for brain surgery.
3. Bones & Joints
MRI may also be used to help evaluate joint disorders, such as arthritis, which is still a major problem in the elderly. Furthermore, joint abnormalities caused by traumatic or repetitive injuries and disk abnormalities in the spine are diagnosed by MRIs. Bone infections are another example.
MRI may be used in addition to mammography to detect breast cancer, particularly in women who have dense breast tissue or who may be at high risk of the disease.
5. Sports Injuries
This category pretty much falls into all the other MRI uses as well. You probably have heard about NFL players always needing MRI’s. If you think about how many high school and college sports players get injured you will see how many of them need MRI’s for things such as an ACL tear. Many of the times, an athlete won’t know what’s wrong, so an MRI is a great way to find out (fingers crossed).
Hopefully you understand a little more about MRIs now. Next time somebody says that they have an MRI appointment, you may not know exactly what’s wrong but you can make an educated guess! Stay safe, but if you do get injured, schedule your MRI with us!