MRI of the Arm: A Guide for Patients

There many reasons your doctor might order an MRI scan of your arm. Maybe you recently had surgery on your elbow or wrist, and your doctor wants to see how you’re healing. Or maybe you’ve noticed an odd bump that you can’t explain. Redness, swelling, chronic pain; the list goes on and on.

You know why your doctor referred you for an MRI of the arm. But what can you expect on the day of your appointment? This brief guide to the MRI scan of the arm covers the basics. We even include a few tips for getting the best value and an appointment that won’t make you miss work or family time. We’ll walk you through the process so you can focus on your health.

How to Prepare for an MRI of the Arm

MRI scans aren’t like X-rays or CT scans. They don’t emit ionizing radiation at all. In fact, they’re completely safe and painless, as far as we know, so there’s not much preparation or down time after the procedure.

Dress comfortably. Odds are you’ll change into a hospital gown before stepping foot in the MRI suite. That’s because MRI scanners create strong magnetic fields, and any ferromagnetic metal at all, even if it’s just on a zipper or a button, can cause problems.

That’s also why you’ll need to tell your doctor and your technologist if you have any medical implants, such as stents, clips, or medication pumps.

Your GP or radiologist might tell you to fast for 4-6 hours before the scan, although that’s rare when imaging the arm. Simply follow your health care team’s directions and relax; this will all be over before you know it.

What It’s Like to Get an MRI Scan of Your Arm

Once you enter the MRI suite, a friendly technologist will help you lie down on a soft table. Once you’re set up with any pillows, blankets, or headphones you need to stay comfortable, the technologist will gently slide you into the MRI bore.

Yes, you do have to fully enter the scanner, even though they’re only imaging your arm. Technologists might place coils around your arms to create a higher-quality image.

Similarly, in some cases, radiologists order a contrast agent to improve the scans. If you do need contrast, the team will insert an IV to introduce the dye into your veins. There are typically no serious side-effects to contrast dye, provided you don’t have an allergy (and few do).

Inside the scanner, your technologist will take a few sets of images. The whole thing usually only takes about half an hour, give or take. Once the procedure is complete, you are free to go (unless you’ve taken medication for anxiety, in which case you should have someone available to drive you home).

How to Schedule a Convenient, Affordable MRI of the Arm

While this is an important medical procedure, you shouldn’t have to pay a fortune. Call at 888-322-7785 for hassle-free scheduling, even on evenings and weekends.

Find an accredited, fully-licensed facility near you, browse our schedule of affordable cash prices, and prepare for a simple examination. Our prices start at only $249 for an MRI, and you take home a free CD of images of the MRI scan of your arm, so you can move on to the important step: treatment.

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