What Happens During an MRI

History Form

MRI exam from syracuse orthopedic specialists

  • When you arrive for your MRI exam you will be asked to fill out a history form in reference to the MRI exam you are about to have.
  • When the technologist calls you back, they will review this history form with you along with the safety questionnaire you filled out ahead of time.
  • It is important to notify the technologist if you have any implanted devices or may be pregnant.
  • Some implants or devices such as joint replacement or spinal fusions are safe. However, other implants such as a pacemakers, electronic simulator, or aneurysm clips can be safety concerns for an MRI exam.

Changing Clothes

  • You will be asked to remove any clothing containing metal and all jewelry. 
  • You will be provided metal free clothing to change into such as gown, shorts or pants.
  • Lockers are available to safely store all personal items such as wallet, purse, keys, phone and other electronic devices. These items cannot enter the exam room with you.
  • Avoid wearing clothes and undergarments with metallic microfibers. 
  • 100% cotton clothing is safe and preferred for MRI!

What clothes have metallic microfibers?

Any clothing that is:

  • "Anti-bacterial"
  • "Odor-fighting"
  • "Therapeutic"
  • "Heat retaining"

The MRI Scan

Syracuse Orthopedic Specialist's MRI machine

  • Your MRI exam may take as little as 15 minutes or as long as an hour depending on the type of exam.
  • The MRI machine makes a lot of loud buzzing, clicking and knocking noises.Patients will be asked to wear hearing protection during the exam, as it is required by law. This will consist of earplugs, but sometimes an additional headset is utilized.
  • Patients might find it uncomfortable to remain still for the exam. The technologist will do their best to get you as comfortable as possible
  • MRI safe support cushions will be utilized.
  • It's extremely important to hold still during your exam as motion creates blurry images.
  • The technologist will communicate to you throughout the exam viz intercom.
  • If you need them urgently a call button will be given to you. Squeeze it to alert the technologist.

The MRI Sound

 Click play to listen to the sounds of the MRI!

What if I'm Claustrophobic?

Friendly Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists Team

Ask for the Wide bore MRI Scanner!

  • The wide bore is faster, more detailed and more comfortable than a traditional open MRI.
  • The scanners are fully lit, ventilated and open at both ends
  • Depending on the body part being imaged, you may not need to have your head inside the scanner at all. Some examples include knee, foot or leg scans since you enter feet first.
  • Pictured: GE Wide Open 1.5T MRI. SOS Technical Team

Options for Claustrophobic Patients

  • Combating visual triggers: Use of blindfold or specialized glasses to see "out" of the scanner
  • Pre-medication: Physician ordered oral medication for relaxation and for minimizing anxiety

If Contrast is Requested for your MRI

  • Some exams require a contrast agent (or dye) to better visualize or rule out a certain medical diagnosis.
  • If a contrast agent is needed, a licensed tech, who is New York State certified to inject, will administer our MRI contrast agent called Gadolinium through a catheter in a vein of your arm.
  • Gandolinium does NOT contain any iodine. It is diluted form of a rare earth metal that is safe to administer into a body that shows bright on our images.
  • Our guidelines for contrast injections may require you to have blood work done beforehand. These typically include:
    • If you are 60 years of age or older
    • If you are on a high blood pressure medicine
    • If you have any kidney disease or renal failure
    • If you are diabetic

Questions about your MRI? Click among the links below to find your answer! If you still have more questions, do not hesitate to call our office at 315.251.3100.

What to Expect Before the MRI

What to Expect During the MRI

What to Expect After the MRI