The decision of which type to use is dependent upon the circumstances. Unlike MRI, CT uses radiation but it is also a much shorter exam. CT is often utilized to examine complex skeletal injuries, the internal structure of joints, as well as to guide certain types of therapeutic injections into joints, cysts, and tendons, while MRI provides clear pictures of soft tissue structures near and around bones, and is usually the imaging choice for viewing major joints, the spine, and soft tissues of all extremities.
Magnetic resonance imaging involves the use of radio waves and a magnetic field to provide detailed images of internal organs and tissues. Physicians use MRI to identify the cause of pain, swelling, or bleeding in tissues in and around the joints and bones. MRI images show small tears and injuries of tendons, ligaments, and muscles, which are not identifiable in standard x-rays.
MMI radiologists and referring physicians utilize MRI to identify degenerative disorders including arthritis, deterioration of joint surfaces, herniated discs, spinal cord injury, tumors, and infections.
CT uses x-ray technology to produce diagnostic images with the additional aid of computerization. MMI radiologists often read CT exams in order to diagnose and evaluate bone fractures, tumors, cancer monitoring, and locating internal bleeding sources.