Imaging + MRI

About Imaging

MRI scans produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and other internal body structures.  Differences between normal and abnormal tissue is often clearer on an MRI image than a CT.  And while there is no radiation involved in an MRI scan, it can be a noisy exam and takes longer than a CT.  A specially trained radiologist will interpret your scan, helping to achieve a quick and accurate diagnosis.

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11440 Parkside Drive, Suite 115 | Knoxville, TN 37943


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (or MRI) studies produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and other internal body structures.  It is almost always performed on an outpatient basis, so it is convenient for the patient.
  • There are many reasons why your physician might recommend an MRI Scan. First, it requires no radiation; it is a proven safe procedure. Second, the level of accuracy it affords is outstanding. MRI Scans are so precise, they can many times differentiate between healthy and unhealthy tissue before symptoms occur. MRI has been used successfully in diagnosing abnormalities in all parts of the body. This makes it one of the most versatile diagnostic tools available today.
  • Basically, the major advantage of MRI is that it requires no radiation and is extremely sensitive to detecting abnormalities. It has also been proven safe by the Food & Drug Administration for use on an inpatient or outpatient basis.
  • Very few. Generally, the only people who should not have MRI Scans are those who:

    Are in the first trimester of pregnancy
    Have metallic IUDs, aneurysm clips or pacemakers
  • A representative from OrthoTennessee will contact you a day or two before the scan to confirm your appointment. If your physician has ordered a contrast study, do not eat any solid foods and drink only clear liquids for two hours before the exam.
  • One of our technologists will meet with you to answer any questions. You will be shown to a private dressing room where you will change into a gown for the procedure. All jewelry must be removed prior to the scan; therefore, it is advisable to leave all valuables at home. Next, you will be asked a few questions about your medical history and the test will be explained to you.
  • Basically, a Magnetic Resonance Scanner is a huge magnet that uses radio waves to develop internal images of your body and organs. The signals are analyzed by special computers to produce the images that the radiologists will interpret in order to make a diagnosis.
  • First of all, the scan is totally painless. You will feel nothing during the test, except for hearing a thumping sound similar to a drum roll. Earplugs are available if needed. During the scan, at the Oak Ridge and Maryville facilities, you will recline in a chair with only the affected extremity in the cylinder. At the Fort Sanders West Facility, you will be lying on a special table that slides into a large white cylinder which fits inside the magnet. You will be asked to stay as still as possible during the test so that the pictures are as clear and precise as possible. Generally, the scan takes 30 to 45 minutes although this depends upon the area to be scanned.
  • OrthoTennessee offers the latest in state-of-the-art MRI technology to their patients. Special effort is made to provide our MRI services in the most comfortable and convenient possible setting. Often, the patient co-pay is lower in an outpatient setting than having the same study performed at a hospital.
  • At the time of the exam you will be asked to pay any applicable copay.

    If you do not have insurance please speak with an account representative to arrange for payments prior to the exam.

    OrthoTennessee will bill for the technical component only. You will also receive a bill from a radiologist for the professional interpretation (reading).

    Your insurance company will be billed for both the technical component and professional interpretation based on the information that is on file with OrthoTennessee. It is the patient’s responsibility to be sure that this information is correct at the time of the exam. Failure to provide proper insurance information may result in additional expense to the patient.