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MRI scans and joint replacements

Josephine

NURSE DIRECTOR EMERITUS
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People often get concerned about having an MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging) as rumours abound with anything from a simple 'it can't be done' to scary reports of the implants being pulled out of the bone. So the answer now is yes you can provided the radiography department can utilize the MARS MRI protocol which is when adjustments are made to the xray unit to cut down the glare caused by the metal objects.

Metal Artefact Reduction Sequence
Metal Artefact Reduction Protocol


The caveat is that it is inadvisable with the first 6-8 weeks after surgery as there is a risk the xrays might inhibit bone growth which might be a problem with an uncemented implant. In cases where there is an overgrowth of bone in a condition call Heterotopic ossification, xrays is actually one of the treatments used to dampen down the overgrowth of bone.


Report from a member
I've had to have two MRI's of my hip since my hip replacement, and there wasn't a problem at all other than the implant itself felt like it got very warm inside my body. Strange feeling and I could even feel some vague vibrations which I think is why they would avoid having one too soon after a replacement.

The amazing part to me is that even with all the metal in there, they have a computer program that can over ride the metals and they can get CLEAR images of the entire device. You can clearly see fractures, soft tissue problems and such.

You just have to make sure that besides writing that you have a joint replacement on the history forms to give the tech a heads-up as well.
 

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