MRI Scan Without and With Dye - Lower Extremity

This test uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the structures in the lower extremity (leg).

This test uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the structures in the lower extremity (leg).

A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of the lower extremity (leg) is a test that uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the structures in your lower extremity (leg).

  • While an MRI can show pictures of joints, this study is designed to give detailed pictures of the non-joint structures in your leg.
  • The images are taken before and after a dye is put into a vein in your arm or hand.
  • The dye helps to highlight the structures in your elbow so they can be seen better.

Your healthcare provider may order an MRI of your leg to:

  • Find the cause of persistent (> six weeks) leg pain
  • Assess an abnormal physical finding
  • Evaluate an injury

MRI machines use powerful magnets, so tell your health care provider if you have any metal or medical devices in your body.

  • The contrast dye may cause you to feel flushed or to have a bad taste in your mouth for a short time.
  • You must lie still during the exam. Moving can blur the images.
  • An MRI can take up to an hour. Newer machines may be much faster.

If you are pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of the test.

The costs for this test include the charge for the test (facility charge) and physician charges (for performing or interpreting the test). You may get separate bills from the facility and the physician's office.

What should I ask my health care provider before having this test?

  • Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • Do I need to have the test with dye? If I do, should I be concerned if I have allergies?
  • What is my diagnosis and the reason for the test?
  • Are the test results likely to change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?
  • Are there any less expensive, but effective, alternatives to my getting this test?

Remind your health care provider if there are any metal(s) or medical device(s) in your body.


Also known as:

MRI Scan
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