Ankle MRI can show the inside injuries, disorders, or any abnormality in your ankle. You may experience symptoms of ankle disorders, which will urge you to conduct an MRI. A high chance of ankle injuries may develop in a sports or running person.This post will also discuss the painful causes of ankle disorders. The procedure of an MRI is safer and contains low risks compared to other methods. We will first start our discussion with the purpose of an MRI.
What is the use of an MRI?
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine helps see organs inside your body. An MRI consists of a magnet similar to a tube shape, which produces a magnetic field around the person lying down in the MRI scanner. An MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to form images of your knee, ankle, brain, etc. A radiologist often recommends MRI rather than an X-ray due to less ionizing or low risk to your health.
What does an ankle MRI show?
If you recently have an ankle injury or pain, an ankle MRI will help your provider to:
- Find an abnormality or disorder in your ankle
- Diagnose the extent of ankle injury or pain
- Observe for bone fractures or tendon tears
- Examine your ankle and foot properly
- Monitor the treatment you are taking to recover from injuries.
Your healthcare provider will ask you about the medical history of your ankle and the current or recent injuries. An MRI for ankle injury with other tests like CT scans will give you complete details about your ankle.
When should I get an ankle MRI?
A healthcare provider will recommend an ankle MRI if you are experiencing symptoms of ankle pain or disorders. You should take an MRI if you are a sports person having knee injuries.
Symptoms of Ankle Disorders
Here are the symptoms of ankle disorders that include:
- Swelling or pain in the ankle
- Difficulty moving or walking
- Sensitivity or tenderness when someone touches your ankle
- Limited range of motion
- Difficulty or pain carrying weight on your ankle
- Unstable ankle
- Popping sound due to ankle injuries
Some other symptoms that may develop due to tendonitis and Achilles tendonitis are:
- Stiffness of tendon.
- Swelling becomes extreme due to physical activity.
- Feeling pain behind the heel that leads to worse in a day.
Causes of Ankle Disorders
Ankle disorders may develop for many reasons, such as running, jumping, and excessive use. You may experience ankle pain due to injuries in your ankle bone, ligaments, or tendons and different forms of arthritis.
Some other common causes of ankle sprain or pain are as under:
1. Foot landing with high intensity
2. Falling on the surface or floor results in an ankle twist.
3. Tendonitis in the ankle (A type of injury that leads to inflammation or swelling of a tendon, a thick cord that combines muscle with a bone).
4. Rheumatoid arthritis (An autoimmune inflammatory disease)
5. Osteoarthritis (A condition that involves the breakdown of joints)
6. Broken foot
7. Sprained ankle (An injury that happens when you rotate or move other than the limit of motion)
8. Gout (Arthritis linked with high uric acid)
9. Achilles tendinitis (overuse injury often found in runners)
10. Septic arthritis (A painful infection of a joint developed from germs or bacteria when entered your body through a blood vessel).
The Procedure of Ankle MRI
You can schedule an online MRI exam before visiting the imaging center. There is a common question that people ask their providers. Does the whole body go inside the magnet for an ankle MRI? The simple answer is not all of your body goes into the MRI machine. You have to put your ankle into the machine.
Following are the steps that you can follow for the MRI:
- Firstly, your radiologist will tell you to lie down on the MRI scanner.
- An MRI scanner will slide into or out of the machine during the exam.
- You will ask to place your ankle or foot (depending on which part you carry the injury) into the machine for developing images.
- A radiologist will monitor you from another room through a computer that shows the collected ankle images.
- You may provide headphones to cancel the scanner noise and a microphone to contact your radiologist if you feel difficulty or discomfort during the exam.
- This procedure usually lasts from 15 minutes to at least 1 hour.
- You need to wait at the imaging center so that the radiologist can check if they have more accurate images than the blurry images of your ankle.
- During or after the exam, you may experience some tingling in your legs, which is more common.
Things to consider before taking an MRI
A radiologist will provide a checklist document to read and fill out before the MRI.
You should consider the following things if you are going to take an MRI of the ankle:
- You should arrive fifteen minutes before your MRI exam at the imaging centers.
- Inform the provider if you have metal implant devices in your body
- Avoid wearing jewelry, watches, hairpins, metal objects, etc at the imaging center.
- You should take off your clothes and wear a gown provided by your radiologist department.
- Using hearing aids devices like cochlear implants
- Inform your provider about medication that may affect the test result.
- Having a history of diabetes
- If you are experiencing kidney or heart disease
- If you are pregnant
Ankle MRI Test Results
The MRI results may be received within one or two days. Your radiologist will observe and make a report to discuss the result with you if you have any problems, such as injuries or abnormalities in your ankles. An MRI will indicate no damage or problem if you have a normal ankle. You can schedule an e-consultation with a verified professional doctor to discuss your MRI test result.
You may need an ankle MRI if you have an injury or difficulty moving your ankle. An MRI will give your provider complete knowledge of your ankle. You should consult with a doctor if you see the above symptoms of ankle pain or disorders.