Spine Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a powerful tool for screening and diagnosis. Many consider it to be the best way to detect diseases in their earliest, most treatable stage.
The exam is non-invasive, uses no radiation, and our state-of-the-art equipment offers a more comfortable imaging experience. It is invaluable for a number of reasons:
- MRI gives very clear pictures of the spine.
- It can detect subtle damage to the spine and joints in patients with herniated disks and arthritis.
- Its high resolution aids in detecting subtle injuries in ligaments and bones, which is valuable in sports medicine.
- It can perform Arthrograms (an MRI of a joint after injecting a contrast medium).
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAM?
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
- Take all prescribed medications as directed.
- Wear comfortable clothing free of metal zippers or buttons.
- Please let us know if you are, or may be, pregnant, or if you've had recent surgery.
- Please also let us know if you have metal in your body; here is a list of metal objects that may be a concern.
- Children may have parents in the exam room with them.
- Your technologist may ask you to remove any metallic objects, which are unsafe near the MRI magnet.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY EXAM?
- You will be asked to change into a gown.
- If a contrast solution is needed, we will insert an intravenous (IV) line on the inside of your elbow. Please note that IV contrast is an additional cost of $250.
- Once the IV is in place, your technologist will position you on the cushioned scanner table in the MRI suite. We will do our best to make you comfortable.
- An MRI can be loud, so you will be provided with headphones or ear plugs to reduce the noise. Eye masks are available upon request for patients who have difficulty relaxing in a confined space. You are also given an emergency call bell to stop the exam, if needed.
- Once you are relaxed and comfortable, a sensor will be positioned around the body part being scanned. The table will then move slowly into the MRI scanner, which is well lit and ventilated.
- You will be asked to hold very still, as movement may result in blurring of images. Your technologist will be close by at all times.
- Once we have successfully captured your images, your IV will be removed (if you have one) and you are free to leave.
WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?
We do our best to have our radiologists interpret the information and forward the results to your doctor by the next business day.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
In Calgary, MRI exams are provided at our Mayfair Place location as private pay exams and are not covered by Alberta Health Care. Your health spending account or group medical insurance plan may cover the cost of a private MRI that is prescribed by a qualified health care practitioner. You will need to check with your plan administrator for coverage details.
Our pricing can be download in the right side bar, just click on the applicable location. If multiple areas are scheduled within the same appointment, discounts may apply. We also offer a 10% Seniors Discount (65+). Please note that IV contrast is an additional cost of $250.