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MRIs have helped doctors do their jobs for four decades, and patients are benefiting from it. Read frequently asked questions about MRIs.

What’s an MRI? MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is used to view internal body structures for disease or injuries that otherwise couldn’t be detected.

“An MRI is one of the best tools for an orthopedic physician to use to diagnose damage or disease to a person’s joints,” says Dr. Gary G. Doss, orthopedic and sports medicine specialist with Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron.

How does an MRI differ from a CT scan? An MRI and CT scan (or CAT scan) can be used to detect the same injuries and diseases. MRIs can be used for orthopedic-related injuries, such as joint degeneration, fractures, tendon, and ligament damage. CT scans are commonly used for evaluating tumors.

How does an MRI work? An MRI is a large, noninvasive device that uses magnetic properties to create nondestructive, three-dimensional images of the body’s soft tissues, including in the head, spine, and joints.

Patients remove all metal objects from their body, lie on a table and then slide into a scanner. A typical exam lasts 15 to 30 minutes.

Is an MRI safe? Yes. An MRI involves non-ionizing radio frequency signals to acquire its images. A CT scan uses X-ray imaging, which allows the physician to see great details.

To learn more about the uses of an MRI, contact Orthopedic Associates of Port Huron at (810) 985-4900.