Open MRI Weight Bearing and Positional Scanning



Upright MRI is changing the clinical approach towards musculoskeletal imaging, particularly of the spine and joints, but also hips, knees, feet and ankles. By allowing earlier detection and more accurate diagnosis, it is improving overall patient outcomes.
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Most symptoms experienced from pathology affecting our spines and joints are appreciated in the upright position, not when lying down. Unfortunately, conventional MRI scanners can only image in the supine position.
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The Open MRI scanner can image the patient sitting or standing and also in positions that may be associated with maximal symptoms. In the spine, this strategy can uniquely be used to demonstrate instability e.g. due to vertebral slipping, or positional-dependent disc herniation.
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Our experience indicates that upright imaging reveals significant abnormalities in approximately 30% of patients that are not visible on supine scans.

Advantages of the Upright and Open MRI scanner:

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  • Being U-shaped, our Open MRI scanner is completely open above the patient, unlike conventional closed MRI scanners, thereby avoiding any sense of claustrophobia. Statistics indicate that more than 50% of patients undergoing an MRI scan in a traditional closed machine find it to be claustrophobic, with a high proportion of patients being unable to complete the procedure. For sufferers of claustrophobia, this can be terrifying. Patients are welcome to view the Open MRI scanner prior to their appointment to alleviate any concerns they may have. Our team are experienced with helping those suffering from claustrophobia to have an anxiety-free experience at our Centre.
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  • its open and upright nature allows patients to be scanned in their “position of pain”, whether it is standing, sitting, bending or lying down. This unique ability greatly increases the diagnostic accuracy and clinical relevance of the report.
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  • its extra wide space facilitates the scanning of larger patients and ensures patients feel much more comfortable and relaxed during the scan.
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  • It is unique in allowing full flexion/ extension views.
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  • It provides a much more comfortable experience to children and elderly patients by being a less intimidating environment, avoiding the need for sedation or anaesthetic which are often otherwise required when scanning in closed MRI scanners.
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  • The MRI Open’s use of Nobel Prize-winning superconductor technology avoids the need for liquid helium to cool the scanner which makes it significantly quieter, safer and more environmentally friendly
Open MRI Scan