Necessary Preparation Work Before MRI Scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize internal structures in a detailed manner. MRI uses Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to picture nuclei of atoms inside the body. Preparation work before a MRI scan is hassle free and it is mostly used for orthopaedic injuries.

It is extremely easy and there is no restriction except for one thing – metallic objects. Metallic objects cannot be brought into the MRI room and that includes metallic products you are carry such as your jewellery and even metal implants in the body. If you have metal implants, you need to let your doctor know and he will advise accordingly. It is also advisable to go for the MRI scan without make up if you are a female. This is due to some cosmetics containing traces of metallic elements which may interfere with the MRI scan.

It is also important that you declare your medical history to the doctor truthfully before the MRI scan so that they will know exactly what implants you have in your body and whether they could be metallic. The magnetic fields generated during a MRI scan are so strong that it can suck you towards the machine if there are just minute traces of metallic substances in your body.

Generally, you will need to arrive at the hospital around 30 minutes before the scan. This is to allow the staff ample of time to start the registration process and perform some last minute checks before sending you to the MRI room. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown that is free of metallic substances. You will then are interviewed and ask to verify your details by a technologist.

The MRI scan will take roughly 45 minutes on average and you will be placed on a padded table and you will be slowly moved into a large open magnet that will surround your entire body. You will be provided with an assistance handheld device that you should use if you feel any discomfort during the scan. There will also be a speaker which the technologist will use to talk to you. Once you are comfortable in the lying position, try to relax yourself and keep still as any movements will cause the images to be blurring, rendering the results inaccurate. You will hear lots of loud noises and this is due to the changes in the magnetic field.

MRI is generally a safe process but patients who are claustrophobic or those with metallic implants in crucial parts of their body are not allowed to undergo a MRI scan due to safety constraints.

Top 5 Most Common Types of Arthritis

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “arthritis“? Some of the common things include old age and painful joints. This is actually quite accurate! Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints and this is more common in people of certain age, especially those above 50 years old. There is currently no cure for arthritis. Arthritis occurs in many different forms and there are more than 100 types of them. In this article, let’s take a look at some of the more common ones.

Rheumatic Arthritis

Rheumatic arthritis is a disease of the immune system. The function of the immune system is to protect our body and defend against any foreign intruders in the form of viruses and bacteria. However, rheumatic arthritis causes the immune system to go haywire. Instead of protecting us, the immune system attacks us instead and these slow and steady attacks causes’ great damages to the structures of our body including the joints, muscles and organs.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is degenerative joint diseases which results from overuse of the various joints. Osteoarthritis does not happen at an older age. Instead, it can happen to people as young as 20 years old, especially if they use their joints much more than others. Sports injuries can also cause osteoarthritis. A patient suffering from osteoarthritis has his joint cartilage broken down. The main function of the cartilage is to absorb weight and shock and to cushion the joints. Without it, injuries and accelerated wear and tear can happen to people.

Lupus

Lupus is another disease of the immune system. Acting on the same principle as Rheumatic arthritis, the immune system attacks the healthy components of the body, especially the joints. Not only does Lupus cause inflammation of the joint, it can also cause problems such as swelling and high blood pressure.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia causes pain and stiffness of the joints but unlike other forms of arthritis, it does not cause any inflammation to the joint. As a result, any damages to the joints are not caused by fibromyalgia. The common places affected are the ligaments, tendons and tissues.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis

As its name suggest, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis occurs in juveniles. It is a chronic disorder that causes serious disability to children. The most commonly affected places are the joints and it causes immense pain, swelling and tenderness of the joints.

There are more than 100 types of arthritis out there and they are unique in their own ways. Before seeking medical attention, you should try to determine the type of arthritis you are suffering from. Arthritis causes pain, swelling and discomfort at areas such as the joints and they can cause simple activities such as walking a daunting task.

Things to Know About Meniscus Repair

The function of the meniscus is to provide stability and act as a cushion for our knee joint. It helps to ensure that weight distribution is spread out evenly throughout the knee joint and prevent any joint problems like arthritis. However, injury to the meniscus is extremely common among people below the age of 25 years who are active in sports. Once a diagnosis of a torn meniscus is made, a decision needs to be made fast regarding the treatment. Usually, the doctor will suggest the treatment he thinks is most suited for you depending on your age, level of activeness and extent of injury.

How is the surgery performed?

One of the first few questions will be how is the surgery conducted. With advances in medical technology, meniscus repair can and will be done through a minimal invasion technique called arthroscopy. More common, suturing will be done to rejoin the torn parts of the meniscus with each other in order to regain function.

What is the success rate?

Success rate of meniscus repair is not 100%. It is mostly dependent on the exact location of the meniscus tear as well as post-surgery therapy. Firstly, if the meniscus is torn at the centre part of the cartilage, surgery will not be able to help at all in healing the meniscus. However, it may help to prevent arthritis in the later part of your life. Secondly, even if the surgery is a success, the post-surgery therapy plays an important role too. A proper structured and disciplined post-surgery therapy must be carried out in order to strengthen and regain the full function of the meniscus.

How is the post-surgery recovery like?

After operation, using of crutches can be from 3 to 14 days depending on the comfort of the patients, and some may prefer not to use crutches at all. Physiotherapy after the surgery will be helpful as well, in accordance to the progress. Any exercises that places tremendous stress onto your meniscus will be strictly disallowed. Examples of these exercises include running, jogging, skipping and squatting. A proper recovery plan will be planned by your physical therapist and you will need to adhere to it strictly as any deviation from it will disrupt the proper recovery procedure and may even require a second surgery.

What are the risks from meniscus repair surgery?

Meniscus repair is a low risk surgery but some there are still some risk associated with it. Infection may occur due to complications during the surgery or from existing personal problems such as diabetes. Since meniscus repair is done through arthroscopy, there is a risk of damage to the surrounding nerves and tissues. As much, you should always look for a reliable and skilled surgeon.

The role of the meniscus is important for our body and it is recommended to undergo meniscus repair surgery if you tear your meniscus. However, if you are not looking to lead an active lifestyle anymore, you may go for physical therapy to strengthen your muscles to compensate for the meniscus tear.