My MRI Memoirs

Posted by on February 20, 2008 at 5:11 am :: 4 Comments

MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a popular method used to image the soft tissues of the body. It works by creating a strong magnetic field instead of using ionizing radiation like an x-ray machine does. An MRI machine usually has a long slender tube that the patient has to lie perfectly still in for 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the type of test being done. As you can imagine this is prone to make those with claustrophobic tendencies, such as myself, a little crazy and often these patients have to be sedated.

Classic MRI Machine

Classic MRI Machine

I had my first experience with one of these machines this week. My ankle has been “chronically sprained” for seven years now. I sprained it playing soccer the spring before Jason and I got married and it has never been the same. I went to a doctor a couple years after this mishap, due to my ankle’s refusal to behave normally, but the doctor diagnosed it as a chronic sprain and said there was very little that could be done about it besides wearing an ankle brace.

Since I have had to tolerate the swelling and pain of this injury for years now, Jason convinced me that it was time to get a second opinion. I went to an orthopedic doctor that specializes in chronic injuries and he was very helpful. He has already come up with several ideas as to cause, and options for treatment. To help him correctly diagnose what is going on with my ankle he recommended getting an MRI.

Altaire MRI Machine

Altaire MRI Machine

Thankfully, the MRI machine I used was an Altaire®. It had a more open design that was friendlier to the claustrophobic prone. I was also grateful that I didn’t have to wear one of those open-back hospital gowns; I got to wear scrubs instead. Who wants to be stuck in a machine for over half an hour with a breeze blowing up their backside?

However, it was much harder to lie perfectly still than one might imagine-and much more uncomfortable. Nothing makes you want to twitch more than knowing that you can’t. But now it’s all done and hopefully it will give my doctor some useful information.


  • Cam says:

    Seven years- good freaking night, girl! Kudos to Jason for getting you into the MRI getup. I hope your new doctor is able to do something to help you. Chronic stuff (sprains, pains, & migraines) is the worst.

  • Debra says:

    I have recently had an MRI and it as well showed, that my peroneal tendon was to torn. My doctor would like me to have surgery to fix the problem but I myself I am not too sure. Your blog has helped me alot. But now my question is: how long does something like this take in the Operating room?

  • preschool tchr says:

    I am scheduled for an MRI on my ankle tomorrow due to a fall at work 1month 12 days ago. I am a bit nervous. I have had an MRI before but it has been for my back and head. I am curious, do you have to be completely sent into the machine for an ankle procedure? I am also not one to enjoy enclosed spaces.

  • Rachel says:

    Not to worry. You shouldn’t have to have your whole body in the machine to get the MRI for your ankle done. It’s not nearly as bad as having an MRI done on your head. It is harder to hold still for the procedure since the position is a little more awkward, but as far as claustrophobia goes, you should be much better off. Good luck!

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