MRI Imaging in Knoxville

TOC offers MRI imaging at three of our locations – The Tower at Parkwest, TOC at Fort Sanders Regional and Oak Ridge Physicians Plaza.

Having in-house diagnostic imaging is an important component to our patient’s diagnosis and care. MRI’s use a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and computers to produce images needed to treat and monitor your condition. If your physician orders an MRI, there are a few things to consider.

  • Unless told otherwise, please continue taking medications as prescribed.
  • Please communicate with your doctor about any health problems, surgeries or allergies that you may have.
  • Let the technician know if you are pregnant. There are no harmful side effects from the magnets to your baby.
  • If you have any devices or metal in your body, let the technician know.
  • Your doctor will let you know if there are any dietary restrictions to follow leading up to your imaging.
  • If possible, leave your jewelry at home. There are lockers available to lock your valuables, if needed.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • If you suffer from anxiety or are claustrophobic, discuss with your doctor before your imaging appointment.
The Tower at Parkwest

9430 Park West Boulevard, Suite 235
Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: (865) 560-8574

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

TOC at Fort Sanders Regional

1819 Clinch Avenue, Suite 100
Knoxville, TN 37916

Phone: (865) 560-8574

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

TOC at Oak Ridge Physicians Plaza

988 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Suite 100
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830

Phone: (865) 560-8574

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

What is an MRI?

The well-known abbreviation MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create the most detailed diagnostic images of the human body available in medicine today. MRI imaging is so powerful and accurate that it can be used to see bones, blood vessels, nerves, and soft tissues within the body. Unlike x-rays and CT scans, MRI imaging does not expose the patient to radiation.

What will I experience during my MRI?

Before your MRI, you will be asked to remove all jewelry, glasses, underwire bras, and anything else that is metal on your body. You will lie down on the MRI table. At this point, the imagining specialist performing your MRI will step out of the room where the MRI machine is located and into a side room where the controls for the machine are located. You’ll be able to talk to the imaging specialist via a microphone during the procedure.

Your doctor’s orders for the MRI will determine what part of the body is put into the MRI machine, which looks like a long tube with openings at the head and foot. The table that you are laying on will automatically move into position within the MRI machine. You’ll hear the machine startup, which is quite loud but should not hurt your ears. You will hear a variety of humming, tapping, thumping, and clicking sounds. You may be given earplugs to use during the procedure to help you feel more comfortable.

You will lie still while the moveable part of the MRI machine moves around you, creating the images that your doctor has ordered. MRIs can last anywhere from a couple of minutes to an hour, depending on the images needed as ordered by your physician. The entire procedure is completely comfortable and painless. You cannot feel the magnetic field or the radio waves responsible for taking the MRI images.

Once the MRI process has completed, the table you are laying on will automatically exit the machine and you can get up and walk out.

Some people cannot get an MRI

Because of the powerful magnets used during an MRI, some patients with metal in their bodies may not be good candidates for having MRI imaging. If you need to have an MRI but have any of the following, talk to your provider and make sure your MRI will be safe for you:

  • Artificial heart valves
  • A pacemaker
  • Metal joint implants
  • Metal pins, screws, plates, stents, or staples
  • Heart defibrillator
  • Implanted drug infusion pumped
  • Cochlear implants
  • IUD
  • Metal fragments or bullets
  • Implanted nerve stimulators
  • Tattoos (some tattoo ink is made with metal)

If you are pregnant, make sure to tell your doctor before your MRI appointment. Sometimes the provider will suggest another type of imaging test instead of an MRI for pregnant women.

Your TOC doctor will order an MRI if needed to aid in the diagnosis or treatment protocols and to schedule your appointment to be seen by an orthopedic specialist for evaluation.

Need to get an MRI in Knoxville and not sure where to turn? Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics offers MRI imaging services at our locations at The Tower at Parkwest and TOC at Fort Sanders Regional in Knoxville and Oak Ridge Physicians Plaza in Oak Ridge.