Weight Bearing MRI Advantages
Weight Bearing MRI or standing MRI is a physiologic test that examines the spine and extremities in the position where most people report most pain or symptoms- standing, Conventional MRI examinations are performed with the patient lying down and the tissues are decompressed. Disc herniation and nerve compression may not be apparent without the stress of a patient’s body weight.
Weight bearing MRI can be considered an “MRI stress test” because it examines tissues in the position that causes pain. Most people experience pain and other symptoms while they are standing and the weight of the body compresses anatomic structures or apply stress to ligaments and tendons that control motion or maintain normal position of anatomic structures.
If you want to see why a patient hurts while standing- perform the MRI while the patient is standing!
Most people with pain while standing lie down to relive the pain because lying down relieves the body weight and takes the pressure off the painful structures. If one wants to see why the patient hurts while standing and identify which anatomic structures are compressed, it would only make sense to perform an MRI while standing (i.e. weight-bearing MRI) rather than performing a recumbent MRI with the pressure relived from the painful anatomic structures.
IT’S YOUR MRI…DON’T TAKE IT LYING DOWN!
MRI Cervical Stress Test