Diagnostic Testing

Institutes & Services > TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Our physicians work directly with the radiologist who reads your scan, providing a consistent, accurate diagnosis. We are committed to delivering high-quality healthcare, which drives us to continually monitor and upgrade our equipment and technology to ensure the highest level of diagnostic accuracy. We regularly perform quality reviews to maintain the foremost standard of patient care.

Understanding MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a safe, totally painless way for a physician to look at the body's soft tissues. Using computers, a powerful magnet and radio waves, the MRI system creates pictures of these tissues. The images assist the physician in diagnosing a number of conditions and provide information to help determine the most appropriate treatment.

Preparing for the MRI Exam

The MRI scan requires no special preparation –- you can eat, drink and take prescribed medication prior to an exam. You are asked to wear comfortable clothes without metal snaps, fasteners or zippers. You may also be asked to change into a hospital gown to avoid any interference if metal parts are part of your clothing. Before approaching the MRI equipment, you will be asked to remove your watch, credit cards, jewelry, keys, pocketknife, hearing aid or any other metal object. These types of items could cause interference with the magnet, or the magnet could affect the items.

A special note: Please tell your doctor if you have any metal devices of any sort attached to or implanted in your body, such as aneurysm clips, metal plates or pins, a cardiac pacemaker, or a joint replacement. Also, please inform your doctor if you think you are pregnant.

Electrodiagnostic Medicine [EMG]

Why am I being sent for Electrodiagnastic (EMG) Studies?

Electrodiagnostic medicine studies diseases of the nerves and muscles. The EMG test that your doctor has recommended studies the electrical characteristics of nerves and muscles and can show disease or injury of the nerves and muscles.

Perhaps you are having pain, numbness, tingling, weakness andlor muscle cramping. The physician performing your test may use needle EMG and/or nerve conduction studies (NCSs) to diagnose your symptoms.

Needle EMG (Electromyography)

For this part of the exam, a small Teflon coated wire electrode (needle) is inserted into selected muscles to record the electrical activity of the muscle. The doctor will look at and listen to the electrical signals that travel from the needle to the EMG machine. You may experience some temporary discomfort. A new needle is used for each patient and the needle is disposed of after the test. The physician will examine only the muscles necessary to decide what is wrong.

Nerve Conduction Studies (NCSs)

NCSs Show how well the body's electrical signals are traveling to a nerve. This is done by applying small electrical shocks to a nerve and recording how fast your nerves conduct impulses. This test is typically well tolerated. Several nerves may need to be tested.

How long will these tests take?

The tests usually take 20 to 90 minutes depending on how many extremities the physician needs to test.

Please do not bring small children with you.

What do I need to do before the test?

The test itself only requires that you be relaxed.

You may do any of your normal activities such as eating, driving, and exercising before and after the tests. You may take your medications as you would normally. Tell the EMG doctor if you are taking aspirin, blood thinners (such as Coumadin), have a pacemaker, a defibrillator, or have hemophilia. If you have myasthenia gravis, ask your EMG doctor if you should take any medications. Prior to having our EMG test, make sure you take a bath or shower to remove oil from your skin.

Do not use body lotion on the day of the test.

When will I know the results of my tests?

The Physician who performed your EMG tests will analyze and interpret your results. These findings will be forwarded to your referring physician's office within 1 or 3 business days of your testing. You will need to follow-up with the physician who sent you for testing for the next step in your care.

Are there any side effects?

One of the reasons why an EMG is so frequently ordered by physicians is that it gives a lot of helpful information with a very small risk of side effects. Infrequently, a small bruise can develop because of the pin. The EMG does not affect your ability to drive or work. It is also safe to perfonn if you are pregnant. Please notify your doctor if you are pregnant.

Who does the EMG/NCS testing and what kind of medical training do these doctors have?

A physiatrist (pronounced fizz ee at' trist or fizz eye' uh trist) is a physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. They evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with musculoskeletal and neurological problems. Doctors who do EMGs go to 4 years of medical school and then have 3 or 4 more years in a residency program. An electrodiagnostic medicine consultant undergoes special training during the residency. The knowledge and expertise gained from such specialized medical training maximizes the ability of the consultant to consider appropriate differential diagnoses in planning and performing the electrodiagnostic examination. This expertise enables the consultant to assist referring physicians in establishing diagnoses, determining prognoses and assiting in proper management.

 

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