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MRI Upper Lower Joint Knee-Ankle With Contrast

An upper-lower joint extremity MRI scan is an imaging test that examines the knee and ankle joints. These include the different tissue types, such as cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and the meniscus in the joints. You will also be injected with a contrast medium to enhance the quality of the images. Doctors commonly order upper extremity MRI scans in cases of suspected fractures and dislocations. MRI scans utilize radio waves and magnets to capture photographs of the soft tissue and bones inside your body to allow doctors to diagnose complications.
MRI imaging of the knee and ankle is typically performed to diagnose various ailments of the joints. These can include fractures, degenerative joint disorders such as arthritis and meniscus tears, joint abnormalities due to trauma, spinal cord abnormalities (such as a herniated disk). MRIs can also help diagnose infections like osteomyelitis and bone/joint tumors. MRIs can also help after certain sports or work-related injuries which cause forceful impact and repetitive strain. This can show up in the form of pain, bleeding, and swelling in the tissues and joints of the ankle and knee.
Your doctor may order an upper extremity MRI scan if you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Intense pain in the joint
  • Visible structural deformities
  • A history of physical trauma at the joints
  • Bony tenderness at the joints
  • Instability
  • Suspected dislocation
  • Scapula trauma
  • Suspected arthritis
  • Non-traumatic pain
  • A possibility of metastases
  • Impairment in the mobility of joints
  • Joint stiffness
  • Restriction of joint rotation
You do not need to prepare for this exam especially. However, you have to change into a hospital gown and remove jewelry and piercings before the scan. Tell your doctor if you have artificial heart valves, implants, plates, prosthetic joints or limbs, or stents in your body since an MRI machine uses magnets. Also, inform your doctor if you have had a pacemaker so they can use another imaging exam to inspect your joints, such as a CT scan. However, some models are re-programmable, so they're not a hindrance to the scan. If you're claustrophobic, being in the MRI machine can be triggering. In this case, you can get anti-anxiety medications before the exam.
The MRI technician will inject you in the arm intravenously with a gadolinium-based dye. The contrast dye will enhance image quality and allow the radiologist to confidently and accurately diagnose your condition. The MRI technician will direct you into the position for the scan. They will have you lie on the bench on your back on the movable examination table. You can also ask for a pillow for support or a blanket if you have trouble lying on the bench or are uncomfortable. They may also use straps and bolsters to help you stay motionless and maintain the same position during the procedure. Small coil-containing objects which can send and receive radio waves may be placed around or next to the joints being examined. The technician will then control the bench's movement from another room. They will also communicate with you through a speaker in the MRI machine. The machine will make some loud and repetitive humming noises as the MRI image is obtained. You have access to a call button in case you become uneasy during the test. If you are sedated, your heartbeat, breathing, and oxygen levels will all be monitored during the exam for your safety. The MRI technician may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds during the exam.
The MRI technician will give your MRI images to a radiologist trained to interpret scans and write a report on them. Your doctor will then receive the report and discuss it with you and explain the findings. Usually, this will take one or two days; however, if the MRI was done on an emergency basis, the MRI facility could provide the results quickly.