Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic procedure that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to image parts of the body. The three-dimensional imaging it provides differs from CT scans, X-rays, and ultrasound, able to capture more of the organs and soft tissue detail without exposing a patient to radiation. There are certain situations in which a patient will be precluded from undergoing an MRI, as the magnetic field generated during the procedure can attract metal implants, hardware or devices in the body. This includes patients with a pacemaker, hearing implants, surgical clips and artificial heart valves.
In podiatry, MRI is especially useful when assessing the foot and ankle. It can help a foot specialist identify nerve damage, tumors, cysts, arthritis, tendon and ligament ruptures, and bone fractures.