Positional Weight-Bearing MRI: A Valuable Tool For Evaluating Musculoskeletal Trauma and Upper Cervical Spine Whiplash Injuries
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive and radiation-free medical test conducted by physicians to look inside the human body. MRIs use powerful magnetic fields and radio signals to produce an image of the targeted body part. With review by a specially trained radiologist, images produced by an MRI can provide clear indicators of why the patient was having certain symptoms and lead to proper treatment. The initial design of MRIs was tunnel-like where patients would lay down in a circular, enclosed tube. Due to a large number of patients experiencing claustrophobia and a “sensation of being buried,” MRI manufacturers produced machines designed with magnets placed above and below with the sides open. These machines are commonly known as “open MRIs.” However, patients are still lying down with a very heavy magnet inches from their face and even though these machines do decrease the “buried” effect, many patients continued to complain of claustrophobia.