MRIs for Kids and Young Adults

When your child is hurt, every parent wants to be sure that their child is receiving the best medical treatment. Children may be even more susceptible to getting hurt because of their rambunctious and curious natures. Sports are a great way for children to make friends, learn discipline and responsibility as well as getting them to engage in much needed physical exercise. While sports may provide a host of benefits, it is also one of the most common ways that children receive injuries.

Whether kids perform martial arts, or play football, baseball, soccer, even more feminine sports like ballet and cheerleading can be sources of serious injuries for children. Childhood gymnasts often experience joint and tendon problems because of their movements and overuse. Children that play contact sports are even more likely to experience a debilitating injury like broken, or sprained limbs. The dreaded injury for any athlete, regardless of age, is an ACL tear.

The ACL is a ligament that helps the knee to bend forward and backwards. Because it is located on the outside of the kneecap, it can be easily broken with a forced jump, a wrong twist or rough contact from an opponent. An ACL tear may require surgery and months of physical therapy and for many athletes, it can be a career-ending injury.

Other common injuries for children in sports include shoulder and elbow injuries. If you have a child that is active in sports and they complain often of pain in these areas, be sure that you ask your pediatrician about an MRI for kids. MRIs are one of the safest methods of medical imaging for children for a number of reasons.

MRIs for kids are the highest recommended form of medical imaging because they involve no radiation. MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. That means that inside the machine is a large orbiting magnet. Let’s go back to Biology class, everything is made up of atoms right? Well hydrogen atoms make up a majority of our body. When you enter an MRI chamber, the machine blasts these hydrogen atoms with sound waves making them disruptive and chaotic.  Then the magnet makes the atoms realign where they were. The machine then takes a “photo” of the body and transcribes what it sees with the help of computer technology. So if there is something like a break, mass or strain, the hydrogen atoms would conform around this object because it isn’t meant to be there, creating a photo of the injury for doctors.

In addition to using no radiation, MRIs are more adept at seeing beyond factors like bone, muscle and organs and still giving high quality images. This is especially important for children who often have trouble staying still, especially when they are hurt. Although they need to stay as still as possible for the procedure, if they can do that once, they usually don’t have to do it again. MRIs for kids are the easiest way of determining the degree and severity of an injury.

CT scans are also proficient at determining the extent of injury however they do use  radiation in order to create their images. Where CTs differ from MRIs, besides the use of radiation, is that CTs give cross sectional images of the interior body. MRIs can take images of the same area of the body however MRI has less picture clarity than MRI because it is more susceptible to breathing and other movements.

In or around Metairie, Louisiana and need a MRI or other imaging scan for your child? Give Doctors Imaging a call at 504-883-8111 or use this online form to get the expertise your family needs.

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