An MRI, also known as magnetic resonance imaging, is a pain-free non-invasive medical test used to produce two dimensional images of the structures of the body. The process uses intense magnetic fields to make images of the inside of the body. An MRI scan is often used to study nerves, muscles, ligaments, bones, and other tissues in the body. An MRI is often used to evaluate the possibility of injuries to ligaments and tendons. Problems in the spine, such as a disc herniation are seen well on an MRI image. Masses and tumors within soft tissues can also be evaluated with MRI.
In some cases, a diagnosis can be made with an MRI and may prevent or indicate the need for surgery.