MRI scanning uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures. MRI scanning is painless and does not involve x-ray radiation.

Patients with heart pacemakers, metal implants, or metal chips or clips in or around the eyes cannot be scanned with MRI because of the effect of the magnet. However, the MRI staff will research and counsel you on the safety of your implant. Your safety is our upmost concern. Please be aware, that a claustrophobic sensation can occur with MRI scanning.

What to Expect

An MRI scan is a relatively comfortable exam. The MRI technologist will ask you to change into patient attire. This attire is metal free. You then be asked to lie down on the MRI exam table. You will be offered headphones or earplugs for your comfort. You can even listen to music if you would like, which we recommend as the machine is a bit loud. Just ask your MRI technologist. Please lay as still as possible. Any movement will distort the imaging and the exam may be cancelled.

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization before the exam can be scheduled and performed.

Once we receive prior authorization, we will call you to schedule.

You will also need an appointment to review the results of your MRI with your provider.

How Long is an MRI?

On average, an MRI exam takes 20 to 60 minutes depending on what your physician has ordered. Please make arrangements for childcare as we do not provide this service. It is also our policy that family members and/or friends must wait in our lobby during the duration of your exam.


  • You are able and should take your regular medications.
  • You are able to eat and drink normally unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • Even though we provide exam clothing, it is important to not wear any metallic jewelry or clothing.
  • If you think you may experience claustrophobia, please consult your doctor as you may need medication prior to your exam. If you do receive medication, please be sure to have someone drive you home.


Clinic NameAddressPhone
Northwest Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine 1351 Fowler Street Richland, WA (509) 946-1654