Anyone can benefit from the comfort and convenience of weight-bearing or positional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).  Unlike traditional imaging, weight-bearing MRIs allow patients to be scanned in a variety of positions including:  

  • Standing   
  • Lying down  
  • In a sitting position  
  • In a flexion, extension, rotation, and lateral bending (London)  
  • In their position of pain  

In this article, we highlight the pros of positional MRI tests, from flexibility to scanning accuracy.  

1. Detects mobility issues that are otherwise not visible on conventional MRI  

Some patients face greater pain when the body is in a certain position. With stand-up MRIs, body positions that normally induce pain can easily be recreated. This allows for a clearer diagnostic read than closed, supine MRI.  

Weight-bearing MRI allows imaging of cervical spine in flexion, extension, and bending positions, determining more accurate diagnoses and improving surgical outcomes. Scanning in the position of pain is also helpful in tracking notable deviations in ligaments, tissues, bone orientation, nerve root contact, and intervertebral discs.  

2. Allows imaging under the effects of gravity  

Most cervical spinal cord injuries are caused by axial loading or force directed through the top of the head and through the spine causing rotation and/or hyperflexion.   

Weight-bearing MRIs have axial loading imaging capabilities. They account for the effects of gravity on the patient’s spine and replicate the compression that tissues endure every day. This allows physicians to get precise images, enhance treatment decisions, and spot abnormalities that may otherwise go undetected.  

tomogram results

3. Improves patient comfort and diagnostic reading  

Weight-bearing MRI provides the highest quality imaging available for the L-spine. It gives the physician more insights into the true nature of the patient’s condition that may have previously gone undetected.  

Instead of lying in an enclosed capsule, patients stand or sit between imaging devices. Positional MRI utilises a magnet top and bottom and is open on all four sides. This significantly reduces the risk of claustrophobia, anxiety, and panic attacks that are usually experienced in a closed MRI system.   

Weight-bearing MRI not only improves patient comfort but also accommodates patients of all shapes and sizes. It is also an ideal option for patients who need to be observed throughout the scan or are unable to lie flat due to mobility issues.  

4. Limits repeat exams  

With clearer and more detailed images, radiologists and referring physicians can make more informed diagnoses. This results in faster, more comfortable scans and fewer repeat exams for patients.    

The future of MRI scanning  

Weight-bearing MRI allows superior imaging of any targeted body part. At Upright MRI, we specialise in MRI tests designed for better outcomes and patient experiences. The revolutionary design of our scanners permits scanning accuracy in positions where symptoms arise.  

We use a FONAR 0.6T machine in our London MRI centre and an MROpen 0.5T machine in our Leeds and Birmingham facilities.  The revolutionary design of our scanners permits scanning accuracy in positions where symptoms arise.   

Thanks to our exceptional service, patients enjoy seamless scans and receive complete clinical results in two days.  Book your MRI appointment here 

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