New MRI Machine Offers a More Comfortable Imaging Test

Theresa DeRoberts wasn’t looking forward to her hospital visit. She had injured her left knee playing tennis and needed an MRI. The only problem: Ms. DeRoberts is claustrophobic.

An MRI is a sophisticated imaging test that traditionally requires patients to lie flat on their back inside a narrow cylinder for up to an hour. Ms. DeRoberts was terrified of being confined inside the apparatus. But thanks to a new MRI machine at Doctors Hospital — known as an Extremity MRI — she was able to relax in a reclining chair with just her leg inside the tube, while doctors captured the high-quality
images they needed.

“I was shocked at how easy it was,” said Ms. DeRoberts. “I could have read a magazine during the test. And doctors had the results right away.”

The Extremity MRI is a significant advance in the field of imaging, said Juan Batlle, M.D., who specializes in musculoskeletal radiology. Other designs of open MRI machines still require patients to lie on their back with part of their body inside, and very close to, the noisy tube. They also don’t have the magnetic strength of closed MRI machines, which affects image quality. “The Extremity MRI is a vast improvement over the older open MRI machines because it is the same strength as our closed MRI,” said Dr. Batlle. “This means the images are high resolution and provide fine anatomic detail.”

Ms. DeRoberts was diagnosed with a complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and a meniscus tear.

Orthopedic surgeon Harlan Selesnick, M.D., Miami Heat team physician, performed arthroscopic surgery on her knee and is hopeful that she’ll soon be back playing the sport she loves.

“The Extremity MRI is great for almost every patient,” he said. “In the hands of the highly qualified radiologists and technologists we have at Doctors Hospital, it’s an extraordinary diagnostic tool.”

The Extremity MRI is particularly good for orthopedic problems involving the hand, wrist, arm, elbow, fingers, leg, knee, ankle, foot or toes. It is also helpful for youth because they aren’t
so confined, and a parent can stay in the room for the scan.

An MRI test as comfortable and calming as relaxing in your chair: Imagine that.

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