Magnetic Resonance Imaging is now a widespread imaging modality and has become a preferred tool for diagnosing and monitoring many conditions. It is capable of delivering highly detailed pictures of any part of the human anatomy and unlike x ray , has no known side effects.
MRI are obtained in what I essentially a very large magnet linked to a computerized image acquisition system which measures the body’s distortion of the magnetic field. The best images are obtained from machines in which the patient lies on a couch in the middle of the scanner. There are also open scanners for patients who feel too claustrophophic to tolerate the 20 minute scan. The images obtained from the scanner are however ,( to date ) ,not as high quality or definition as those obtained in a standard “ open at one end “ scanner.
MRI can obtain very detailed images of all tissues of the body: in the case of the shoulder: both bone and all soft tissues.
It can also differentiate between normal and diseased tissues. It is very useful to help diagnose a wide range of shoulder pathologies.