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Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is a medical imaging technique used to investigate the anatomy and physiology of the body. MRI scanners use magnetic fields and radio waves to form images of the body. There is no exposure to ionizing radiation.
To perform the study a patient his position in the scanner which forms a strong magnetic field around the area to be imaged. High field strengths are closed units, whereas lower field strengths are referred to as open MRI scanners.  Open scanners are used for the claustrophobic or morbidly obese patient.

MRI scans are frequently used in evaluating spinal pathology. The MRI scan can check the discs and nerves of the spine to evaluate for conditions such as spinal stenosis, disc herniations, spinal infections and spinal tumor.

Preparing for your MRI:

  • Report allergies
  • Report health conditions
  • Report pregnancy
  • History of any metal implant in your body
  • History of recent surgery on blood vessels
  • Entry uterine devices
  • Claustrophobia
  • Wearing of any medicine patches

There are no known harmful effects from the strong magnetic field used for MRI scan. But since the magnet is extremely powerful, it may affect pacemakers’ artificial limbs and other medical devices that contain iron. Also, any exposure to metallic fragments in the eyes may be damaging to the eye. Iron pigments in tattoos or eyeliner may cause skin or eye irritation.

To learn more about Dr. Cotler or to schedule an appointment please call us at (713) 523-8884

Howard B. Cotler, MD, FACS, FAAOS is board certified and recertified in Orthopedic Surgery. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.

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