MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging and has been used for more than 30 years. MRI's use a magnetic field and radio wave pulses to form images of the structures inside the body. They do not use harmful radiation, and they are completely painless. An MRI machine is a tube that embodies a circular magnet. Within the tube is a bed that the patient lies on while being scanned, which takes about 30 minutes. MRI scanners can find things that other types of scanners cannot. They can take images from almost any angle and show a 360-degree view. This provides a very concrete approach to investigating diseases within the body. Some MRI's are closed, which can be uncomfortable for patients with claustrophobia. Torrance Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Group has an OPEN MRI machine on-site.
X-ray stands for x-radiation and was developed in 1895. Lasting just a few minutes, x-rays are a painless and quick method of showing images of the structures within the body. The procedure can last about a few minutes. X-rays effectively show bones, some dense tissue, and metal objects such as pacemakers and metal plates. They use x-ray beams, which are absorbed into the body in various amounts, depending on how dense the area is. White area on x-rays are the more dense material, such as bone or metal. Gray represents fat and muscle. The biggest risk to having an x-ray is the exposure to dangerous ionizing radiation. This can increase the chance of birth defects and diseases, and can change some DNA.