Like CT scans, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imagery) pictures show soft tissues and bones in a cross sectional fashion. Unlike CT scans, though, MRI does not use radiation in the conventional sense of the word. Rather, it combines the use of a large magnet and radio waves.
The hydrogen atoms in the patient's body react to the magnetic field, and a computer analyses the results and makes pictures of the inside of your body. In many situations, MRI offers unique information to help your doctor better plan your treatment and care.
MRI can be used to investigate some foot and ankle conditions, including:
- Tendon, ligament and cartilage injuries
- Tumours (soft tissue and bone)
- Avascular necrosis
MRI and pregnancy
As MRI causes a slight heating of the body, MRI is not usually used during the first 3 months of pregnancy unless the diagnosis cannot wait and the only alternative test uses X-rays. Beyond that period, MRI is still avoided if the diagnosis can wait till the child is born.