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Vail-Summit Orthopaedics provides MRI scans for evaluating injuries and conditions in your body. A MRI is a noninvasive, diagnostic tool that uses a strong magnetic field and radiofrequency (RF) waves to produce images of the inside of your body. The scans are very safe, and there is no ionizing radiation exposure.

Preparing for a MRI scan and what to expect on your examination day:

  • Please inform your MRI scheduling representative if you have ANY kind of metal in your body from ANY kind of surgery to include, but not limited to, cardiac, brain, orthopaedic, abdominal, etc. There are some ABSOLUTE contraindications (ie: pacemaker, defibrillator, Brain Aneurysm clip, implanted infusion pumps, among some others) and cases where you would need to provide your implants MRI compatibility (cardiac STENT, mechanical valve, etc.)
  • If you have EVER had metal in your eyes (even if it was removed), we will need orbit x-rays for clearance.
  • Most MRI scans are scheduled 45 minutes each and longer if there are multiple areas. If you are having 3 or more scans done, you may need to consider scheduling them on separate days.
  • In some cases we may need to inject contrast. If that is the case, you may need to have lab work done.
  • You may wear ONLY cotton, street clothes, as long as they do not contain any metallic components to include but not limited to, zippers, snaps, buttons, under wire, metallic thread, etc. Your MRI tech will evaluate upon arrival and provide shorts and/or a gown, if needed.
  • You will also need to remove things like: jewelry, piercings, glasses, medication patches, dentures, loose change, wallets, bank or credit cards, wigs, etc. for which a secure locker space will be available.
  • If you are on medications, you may continue to take them as prescribed. If you have pain medication, you should also take these so your exam will be more comfortable, as you will have to be still during the exam.
  • When ready for your MRI, you will be asked to lie on the table either head or feet first depending on the type of exam. The table will then move the part of the body being scanned to the center of the magnet. You will hear loud knocking/buzzing noises as you are being scanned. Due to the loud noises, you will be given earplugs and/or ear muffs to wear.
  • If you are claustrophobic, please inform your ordering doctor. There are medications that can be prescribed for a more pleasant experience. Additionally, you will need to have someone available to drive you the day of your exam. Please keep in mind; we will do everything we can to keep you as comfortable as possible.

To learn more about our MRI services, please call Vail-Summit Orthopaedics at (970) 476-7220.