What You Should Know About MRI Shoulder Exams

by | Feb 18, 2021 | MRI

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The magnetic field that MRI parts produce is not harmful. However, it could cause some devices to malfunction. You could tell the technologist about devices or metal parts you have in your body. Also, ask about their guidelines on eating and drinking before an exam since these vary among facilities. Unless they specify a different schedule, take your medications as you usually would.

On the day of the MRI exam, leave your jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. Also, your medical facility might ask you to wear a hospital gown. People with claustrophobia and anxiety might want to take a mild sedative before the exam.


What Happens During A Shoulder MRI?

An MRI of the shoulder is a non-invasive test used to diagnose issues within the shoulder joint. It takes detailed images of vessels, muscles, bones, and tendons from various angles. The magnetic field that the MRI parts produce is responsible for rendering detailed images that the technician can view on a computer monitor.


What Are the Typical Uses for MRI Procedures?

An MRI exam is perfect for examining shoulder joints. It provides a clear view of injuries to the bicep tendons, rotator cuff tears, and the glenoid labrum, the fibrous tissue rim that stabilizes joints.

An MRI exam of the shoulder can help diagnose degenerative joint disorders like labral tears and arthritis, rotator cuff disorders like impingement and tears, fractures, torn ligaments or tendons, sports- or work-related disorders brought about by repeated strain or vibration from hand-held tools, osteomyelitis, tumors involving bones and joints, swelling and bleeding in tissues around or within the joint, and unexplained pain in the shoulder area.

It can also help monitor a patient’s shoulder joint motion and keep track of their progress post-surgery. In addition to these, some facilities provide magnetic resonance arthrography. This procedure involves injecting contrast material into the joint, enabling radiologists to get a closer look at the shoulder’s internal structures.


What Does MRI Equipment Look Like?

Traditionally, an MRI unit is a large, cylindrical tube surrounded by a circular magnet. A patient lies down on the table that slides into the magnet’s center. Some MRIs are short-bore systems, and these units have magnets that do not surround the patient. Also, newer MRI machines have a larger bore. Since the space between the patient and the coil is broader, it might be more comfortable for patients with claustrophobia or those who are larger. 

Another type of MRI unit is the “open” kind, which is also helpful for examining people who cannot fit or get anxious in small spaces. An open MRI unit can provide different types of high-quality images, but it cannot produce all the types that closed MRI machines can. Speak with your radiologist or specialist to learn more about the types of images each machine can produce.



Using magnetic resonance imaging or MRI on the shoulder uses a magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer. These various MRI parts work together to produce detailed pictures of blood vessels, muscles, tendons, and bones in the shoulder. Doctors use these images to diagnose shoulder injuries. It helps to know as much as possible about it if you’re having an MRI exam for the first time, so you can prevent yourself from becoming needlessly anxious about the entire procedure.

Medical facilities that geet their MRI parts and servicing from Direct Med are sure to get high-quality equipment and assistance. Our range of services accommodates several types of machines from various brands. Get in touch with us today to learn more!

Questions, Comments, Concerns?

Send Us A Message!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.