The wrist is one of the most vulnerable and often injured parts of the human body. It can even be damaged without falling; damage to the joint can be caused by working at the computer for a long time. Such a case is called tunnel syndrome. If a person experiences pain in the area of the wrist joint, he should immediately be examined. Most often, for the diagnosis of this part of the hand is used magnetic resonance imaging of the hands. This type of scan is the most safe and painless for human health.
The purpose of the technique
First of all, MRI of the wrist joint is prescribed to patients after receiving wrist injuries. Also, this examination can be scheduled in case of pain in this part of the hand.
This procedure can reveal various disorders and pathologies, including infections, foci of inflammation, neoplasms and blood flow disorders.
Magnetic resonance imaging is a versatile and informative diagnostic method that clearly displays all the structures of the area that is being investigated. These include cartilage, tendons, blood vessels, ligaments, bone formation and soft tissue. At the moment, this method is considered modern and the most accurate.
Indications for the procedure
Often, an MRI of the wrist joint is prescribed by medical professionals not during the initial diagnosis, but to clarify and confirm the diagnosis and previously obtained data.
In addition, this method is mandatory in the preoperative and postoperative period. This is necessary in order to evaluate the result of the surgery, as well as to assess the rate of tissue regeneration.
Magnetic scanning is needed for hand injuries. This is one of the main types of diagnostics for pinching a nerve or tendon. In addition, the procedure can be prescribed if the patient has diseases of the ligamentous-muscular system: hygroma, phlegmon. Also, the scan is assigned and with problems with the joints. These include diseases: arthritis, osteomyelitis, gout, arthrosis. MRI is also performed when new growths are diagnosed in the hands or there are suspicions about their presence. The main purpose of the survey is to assess the spread of metastasis.
Contraindications to the procedure
Despite the fact that the procedure is one of the safest, there are still some recommendations that should be followed.
The procedure can not be assigned to pregnant women and children who are not seven years old. This is because they will not be able to lie still during the MRI. Also, the procedure is categorically not recommended for people who have any metallic devices in their bodies. These include pacemakers, neurostimulators, hearing aids, prostheses and implants. It should be noted that we are talking about metal parts, because some types of devices are not attracted by a magnet and in no way affect the procedure. Permitted devices include titanium, ceramic, and plastic products.
MRI of the wrist joint cannot be given to people who have hyperkinesis. This is a disease that involves the uncontrolled movement of the body. Also, the procedure can not be applied to people who suffer from claustrophobia. An exception in this case can only be the use of an open type tomograph. Magnetic resonance imaging with contrast is prohibited for people with heart and kidney failure.
Carrying out the procedure
Special training during the MRI of the wrist joint is not needed, but there are some important nuances that should be followed. If the scan is carried out with a contrast agent, the patient should be examined hungry, the last meal should be five hours before the magnetic resonance imaging. It is necessary to remove all metal jewelry, glasses and watches. The specialist may ask the patient to change into disposable medical clothing, so you should dress as comfortable as possible. Before the procedure, the patient should tell the doctor about a possible pregnancy, fear of confined space and possible chronic diseases. You should also make sure that a contrast agent that can be used will not cause an allergic reaction in the patient. It is worth noting that gadolinium (a contrast agent) is not an allergen, but a reaction can still occur.
The procedure will be able to diagnose various congenital anomalies, will reveal injuries of various kinds: fracture, dislocation, sprain, rupture. In addition, MRI can detect arthritis, osteoarthritis, tunnel syndrome. A specialist in this area can easily determine if there is a blood flow disorder, see the presence of tumors.
A special medical device called a tomograph is used for scanning. It can be open and closed. Most often it is used tomograph closed type. The device itself consists of a movable table on which the patient must lie. This table is equipped with belts and rollers that fix the patient’s limbs and head before the examination. It is worth noting that even minimal movement can distort the final MRI data. After the table enters the tomograph's camera, the circle of the hand begins to rotate the ring. A faint sound is heard. The patient will not experience discomfort and pain. Regular MRI lasts about half an hour, and with a contrast agent for about one hour. After the scan is completed, the doctor asks the patient to wait for the transcript of the results.
Contrast is used to see the smallest lesions, as it enhances the visualization of the vascular system. If there is a tumor in the study area, then the diagnostician will immediately notice this, since the vascular network is developed as strongly as possible at the location of the oncological formations. After completion of the procedure, the patient can immediately return to the usual rhythm of life. He will receive the result of the scan on his hands, after which he will be able to visit a specialist who will assign him this procedure.