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Lower Leg

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Lower Leg


Lower leg pain can be a significant hindrance to daily life, making simple tasks difficult and painful. Understanding the causes, treatments, and preventive measures is crucial for maintaining lower leg wellness. This guide is designed to help individuals with lower leg pain or those considering an MRI for their lower leg issues.

Find the Right Treatment

Lower leg pain can stem from various causes, including overuse injuries, inflammation, and degenerative conditions. At GetScanned, finding the right treatment begins with an accurate diagnosis using our advanced imaging services. Our MRI scans provide detailed images that help identify the root cause of your pain, ensuring you receive the most effective treatment plan.

Common treatments for lower leg pain include rest, physical therapy, and medications. For more severe cases, advanced interventions such as corticosteroid injections or surgery may be necessary. Our team of healthcare professionals at GetScanned will work with you to determine the most appropriate treatment tailored to your specific condition and needs.

By leveraging our state-of-the-art imaging technology, we ensure a precise diagnosis, enabling targeted and effective treatment strategies. Trust GetScanned to guide you on your journey to pain relief and improved lower leg health.

When to Get a Lower Leg MRI?

An MRI scan of the lower leg is essential for diagnosing various conditions when symptoms persist despite initial treatments. These conditions include:

  1. Unexplained Pain:some text
    • Definition: Pain in the lower leg that has no clear cause and doesn't go away with rest or standard treatments.
  2. Swelling and Bruising:some text
    • Definition: Noticeable swelling, bruising, or changes in skin color that don't have an obvious cause.
  3. Soft Tissue Injuries:some text
    • Definition: Damage to muscles, tendons, or ligaments that might not heal properly without proper diagnosis and treatment.
    • Details: Conditions like tendonitis, muscle tears, and ligament sprains can be difficult to diagnose with physical exams alone. MRI provides detailed images to potentially confirm the type and extent of the injury.
  4. Tumors:some text
    • Definition: It can also differentiate between benign and malignant growths, aiding in early and accurate diagnosis.

Additional Details on MRI Utility

  • When to Consider an MRI:some text
    • Persistent Symptoms: If symptoms like pain, swelling, or lumps continue for several weeks without improvement.
    • Initial Tests Are Inconclusive: If X-rays, ultrasounds, or other tests don't provide enough information.
  • Benefits of MRI:some text
    • High-Resolution Images: Provides detailed images that help identify even small tears or subtle changes in soft tissues.
    • No Radiation Exposure: Unlike X-rays or CT scans, MRI does not use ionizing radiation, making it safer for repeated use.
    • Comprehensive Evaluation: Can evaluate multiple types of tissues (bone, muscle, tendon, ligament) in a single scan.

Understanding when to get a lower leg MRI and what conditions it can diagnose helps ensure timely and accurate medical care, leading to better treatment outcomes.

Symptoms Indicating MRI

Certain symptoms indicate the need for an MRI to understand the underlying cause better:

  • Persistent or Severe Pain: Chronic or intense pain that limits daily activities.
  • Swelling and Inflammation: Unexplained swelling or persistent inflammation that doesn't subside.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty moving the elbow or lower leg normally.
  • Numbness or Tingling: Sensations of numbness or tingling in the affected area.
  • Visible Deformities: Any noticeable deformities or abnormalities in the joint or surrounding area.

It is essential to seek medical help from your doctor if you are struggling with pain or other concerning symptoms that you are finding! 

What does a lower leg MRI show?

  • Fractures, dislocations, erosions, and other bony abnormalities in the tibia, fibula, and ankle bones 
Joints and Ligaments
  • Evaluation of the ankle and subtalar joints
  • Assessment of ligaments such as the anterior talofibular, calcaneofibular, and deltoid ligaments for tears or sprains 
Tendons and Soft Tissues
  • Examination of the Achilles tendon, posterior tibial tendon, and other tendons for tendinitis, tears, or ruptures 
  • Evaluation of the soft tissues in the lower leg, including muscles, fascia, and neurovascular structures 
  • Assessment for nerve entrapment or injury, such as in tarsal tunnel syndrome 
Other Conditions
  • Detection of masses, cysts, or tumors in the lower leg 
  • Evaluation of vascular abnormalities or circulatory problems 
  • Diagnosis of infections, such as osteomyelitis 

In summary, a lower leg MRI provides a comprehensive evaluation of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and soft tissues in the lower extremity. This allows healthcare providers to accurately diagnose a wide range of traumatic, degenerative, and inflammatory conditions affecting the lower leg.

How To Prepare For Your MRI Scan?

Preparing for an MRI scan involves a few simple steps to ensure the process goes smoothly:

  • Medical History: Inform your doctor about any medical conditions, allergies, or implants you have.
  • Clothing and Accessories: Wear loose, comfortable clothing and remove all metal objects, such as jewelry, glasses, and hairpins.
  • Instructions: Follow any specific instructions given by your healthcare provider, such as fasting or drinking fluids.
  • Relaxation: Try to relax and stay still during the scan to ensure clear images are captured.

How Long Does a Hip MRI Take?

A hip MRI typically takes between 30 to 60 minutes. The duration may vary depending on the specific protocols required for your condition. During the scan, you will need to remain as still as possible to obtain clear images. The process involves lying on a table that slides into the MRI machine, where magnetic fields and radio waves create detailed images of your hip joint.

Schedule Your MRI Scan

Don't let pain hold you back. Schedule your MRI scan today to get a comprehensive understanding of your health and take the first step towards relief and improved quality of life. 

Contact us now to book your appointment and start your journey to pain-free living!

Lorea content writter
Reviewed by
Dr. Sachin Shah
Clinical Lead
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Frequently asked questions

Do I need a GP-referral?

No prior GP-referral is required. Booking with us includes a GP phone consultation and referral. Shortly after booking you will be contacted by a GP from our team who will discuss your scan and provide a referral.

How long is an MRI scan?

MRI scans generally take a bit longer than other types of scans. Individual scans take 10-30 minutes depending on the body part being scanned, overall it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 90 minutes. You do have to lay very still for an MRI and if there is movement the scan may need to be repeated which can add some additional time.

What’s included in my booking?

With your GetScanned booking, you will receive:

  • A pre-scan phone consultation with a member of our medical team.
  • A referral for the scan.
  • Scheduling of a private MRI scan at your preferred scanning centre.
  • Access to your written report by a radiologist.
  • Access to your scan images (online and downloadable).

How much is a private MRI scan?

A private MRI scan cost varies depending on the part of the body being scanned and the location the scan is performed. Generally, a private MRI scan in the UK starts at around £350, and includes the scheduling, scan itself and results.

What’s the difference between an open and closed MRI?

Closed MRI machines are the traditional and first type of MRI. They are used more frequently because they provide higher quality images, however they aren’t ideal for certain types of scan or when the patient has limited mobility. Open or wide-bore MRI machines don’t involve lying in a tight cylinder, instead they have wider openings with more space and are therefore considered better if you suffer from claustrophobia. A standing MRI or upright MRI is a new type of open MRI that allows the patient to be in various different positions, including weight bearing positions. If you would prefer an open MRI please filter by MRI type to find an open MRI near you, but please be aware it is only available at certain locations.

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