MRT Joints / Extremities

Process

 

MRT viewing

MRT viewing

MRT shoulder

MRT shoulder

By contrast to computed tomography and x-rays, magnetic resonance tomography (MRT), also known as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functions with strong magnetic fields and radio waves. This examination, therefore, does not involve exposure to radiation. Due to the magnetic field and the radio waves, signals are generated from the atomic nuclei in your body and measured by highly sensitive antennas; you will not feel anything. A computer processes these signals into sectional images, which are evaluated by our radiologists.

Different soft tissues such as organs, the brain, and also intevertebral disk matter and joint structures can be depicted particularly well using this procedure. Special examinations include diagnosis of blood vessels, the heart, and breast diagnosis in women.

An MRT examination is not possible for patients with cardiac pacemakers/defibrillators, magnetically adhering dental implants, biostimulators and cochlear implants. Patients may only be examined during pregnancy when there are strict indications, i.e. when an MRT is absolutely necessary. Please consult us about this.

Preparation

 

Preparation at home

You should not eat anything for two hours before an MRT examination of the joints or extremities.

Please bring with you:

  • A towel
  • A top (T-shirt) with no metal parts, e.g. appliquéd decoration
  • Existing examination results where relevant (medical imaging, clinical examinations, operating theatre or discharge reports, lab results)

Contrast agent

It is usually necessary to administer a contrast agent, as we can obtain important additional information for diagnosis in this way. For this, we will need to know your creatinine blood value (exception: MRT of the knee joint). If this has already been established, please bring the results of the test with you.

The contrast agents we use are easily tolerated and will be eliminated from the body within 24 hours. Allergic reactions are very rare.

Claustrophobia

If you suffer from claustrophobia, please let us know.

Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to give you a sedative.

Procedure

 

Before the MRT examination you must remove all moveable metal parts from your body and clothing, as you will be examined within a strong magnetic field. An MRT examination may not take place earlier than six weeks since the application of a tattoo or permanent make-up to prevent skin damage (see also FAQ).

You will be placed comfortably on the examination table – lying on your back or front, depending on the region being examined – and will be fitted with a cannula in an arm vein to administer the contrast agent.

You will now be taken automatically, together with the patient stretcher, to the data recording area in the magnetic resonance tomograph. Its diameter measures ca. 70 cm. No part of the apparatus itself is enclosed; it is open at both head and foot. As protection from the very loud knocking noises that you will hear during the examination, you will be given ear protection headphones.

It is especially important to lie absolutely still during the examination. Even the smallest of movements (e.g. forceful swallowing, coughing or the like) are sufficient to spoil our evaluation of the measured results. Please follow instructions exactly, as they are very important for the quality of the image.

Should you suddenly start to feel anxious during the examination (e.g. claustrophobia) or if any other unexpected problems occur, you will be able to inform our staff at any time using a bell-ball. You will be holding this in your hand throughout the whole of the examination.

The examination will take approx. 20 minutes. Usually, you will be able to leave the practice immediately afterwards.

A detailed report with the results of the examination will be sent to the doctor who referred you to us. This will usually reach your doctor within a week; in case of medical necessity, it may also come at short notice on the same or the following day.