Lower Leg MRI scan | Medserena Open MRI

Medserena Lower Leg MRI Scan

MRI scan of the lower leg; non-invasive procedure to help diagnose medical conditions relating to blood flow, tendons, muscles, cartilage, ligaments and bones of the lower leg, price includes:

  • Open and Upright MRI scan
  • 45 minutes appointment
  • Radiologist findings report
  • Images on USB at the end of the scan
    and available to NHS trusts via IEP on request
  • Complimentary refreshments

Please wear metal free clothing and if possible, avoid wearing any jewellery. Alternatively, Medserena can provide you with a gown to change into for your scan. Scroll down for more lower leg MRI scan information.

Many Scans Available within 48 hours

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Little or no
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About Lower Leg MRI Scans

Lower leg MRI scans give a comprehensive in-depth view of the bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, nerves, and blood supply in the lower limb.

The bones of the legs are long and strong as they must carry the weight of the whole body. The tibia (shin bone) is the main weight-bearing bone in the leg and the Achilles tendon is the longest and strongest tendon in the body essential for supporting walking, standing, running, and jumping.

Having a lower leg MRI scan can reveal the causes of acute or persistent leg pain, identifying both bone problems such as osteoarthritis, but also soft tissue-related sprains, strains, and tears, as well as nerve compression and tendonitis.

An upright lower leg MRI Scan allows the limb to be examined when weight-bearing, with the leg bent or extended, from different angles, enabling patients to be scanned in the position that is causing pain.

What problems can a lower leg MRI scan detect?

The lower leg is often injured through sports or repetitive strain in young adults. Here are some of the conditions a lower leg MRI may diagnose.

  • Osgood Schlatter disease: Osgood-Schlatter disease is caused by irritation of the bone growth plate. Bones do not grow in the middle, but at the ends near the joint (the growth plate). While a child is still growing, these areas of growth are made of cartilage instead of bone. The cartilage is never as strong as the bone, so high levels of stress can cause the growth plate to begin to hurt and swell. It is most commonly found among young athletes who play sports that require a lot of jumping and/or running.
  • Baker’s Cyst: A Baker’s cyst (also known as a popliteal cyst) is a swelling that forms behind the knee when the tissue at the back of your knee fills with synovial fluid – the lubricating fluid from the joint. This makes it swollen and inflamed. Cysts can vary in size and can, very occasionally, develop behind both knees at the same time. Baker’s cyst is much more common in adults over the age of 40, but they can develop at any age and even in children. It’s also more common in women because they’re more likely to develop conditions that are associated with Baker’s cyst, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Achilles tendinopathy: This can cause ankle and heel pain, as well as pain in the calf muscle associated with activity, redness, swelling and a lump in the Achilles, making the foot hard to move. Even though tendonitis of the Achilles tendon is often connected to sports activities, the ailment is also often found in people who do not practice sports. The biggest cause is the excessive overburdening of the tendon. The Achilles tendon runs from the calf to the heel bone.
  • Shin splints: Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints are caused by inflammation of muscles and tendons attached to the tibia (shin bone). Pain typically occurs along the inner border of the tibia, where muscles are attached to the bone.
  • Compartment Syndrome: Compartment syndrome is a painful condition that occurs when pressure within the muscles builds to dangerous levels. This pressure can decrease blood flow, which prevents nourishment and oxygen from reaching nerve and muscle cells. The pain and swelling of chronic compartment syndrome are caused by exercise. Athletes who participate in activities with repetitive motions, such as running, cycling, or swimming, are more likely to develop chronic compartment syndrome. This is usually relieved by discontinuing exercise and is usually not dangerous.
  • Hidden fractures: MRIs can also confirm fractures in the tibia and ankle bones because of fall or in people with the fragile bone condition osteoporosis.

Other benefits of a Medserena lower leg MRI Scan

Open MRI scanners are a stress-free alternative to using a conventional enclosed tunnel MRI scanner, providing comfort and reassurance for people who suffer from anxiety or claustrophobia.

The open front means patients can speak to a friend or relative or watch television throughout as a distraction.

Open MRI scans can also accommodate some larger/heavier patients who might have difficulty fitting comfortably into a conventional tunnel scanner, as they can take weights of up to 35 stone (226kg). However, suitability depends on the patient’s build and the areas of the anatomy that need to be scanned.

Available to self-pay clients, clients with private health insurance and NHS patients where prior funding has been agreed by a clinical commissioning group.


The Upright MRI is truly open. There are no tunnels, no narrow tubes. The system is particularly quiet, the examination is comfortable and does not trigger feelings of being in a confined space. This means that the Upright MRI is particularly tolerated by patients who suffer from “claustrophobia”.

Because the system offers you an unrestricted view, you can watch TV or see DVD movies on a large screen during the scan. Wearing headphones – as with other MRI systems – is usually not necessary.

According to the current state of knowledge, there is no danger to the patient’s health as magnetic resonance imaging only uses magnetic fields and radio waves.

Metallic foreign bodies within the patient, such as fixed dental prosthesis, artificial joints or metal plates after treatment for a fracture do not usually pose any danger. However, it is important to clarify that the implants you use are MRI-compatible before the examination.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) utilises a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to form images of your body. It is non-invasive, painless and does not use any ionising radiation.

Our truly open MRI can scan you in different positions. Through the utilisation of a specially designed MRI system we can offer weight-bearing scans – sitting or standing. The design of the system allows the patient to be positioned in different postures (e.g. flexion or extension) so that the patient may be examined in the position where they experience pain. The reason to do this is that some pathologies are underestimated or even not seen in a conventional supine MRI scan. The technique has value in many applications: e.g. spine, knees, hips, ankles. This has been proven in scientific studies and documented in peer reviewed publications.

In addition, it offers the possibility of performing an MRI scan on patients who could not otherwise tolerate the examination. This may include the claustrophobic patient, who benefits from the truly open nature of the equipment, and the severely kyphotic patient or emphysema sufferer who simply cannot lie down. It can also facilitate scanning of large patients who struggle to fit conventional ‘bore’ MRI scanners.

Of course, we have a comfortable waiting area but if you want them to stay in the scan room with you, they will also need to fill out a safety questionnaire. There is enough space for a companion. The person can even hold your hand and communicate with you during the examination. This is particularly beneficial when examining teenager.

This depends above all on which part of the body needs to be examined. In the Upright MRI, special examinations can be carried out in various body positions. The entire scan generally takes between 30 and 45 minutes. However, since you have the opportunity to watch TV or DVD, this time will go by much quicker.

Eat and drink normally and, unless your doctor tells you otherwise, please continue taking medications as normal. If you have any special needs (e.g. wheelchair access) please inform us when making the appointment.

Your appointment confirmation; referral letter/form; Medical Insurance details if applicable. We accept all major debit/credit cards.

We will provide a gown/clothing for you to wear when you are scanned. If you prefer to wear your own, please ensure that you wear or bring clothing without any metal fasteners, zips or under-wiring as these cannot be worn in the scan room. The changing room can be locked for safe storage of your possessions.

You will be able to walk into the scanner. It has no tunnel or bore. You will be able to hear us and talk with us during your scan if necessary-and we will be able to see you at all times. Due to its open nature, you will even be able to watch TV or a DVD whilst having the scan. Depending on which part of you is being scanned, you may be asked to sit or stand, and assume different postures (for example bending forward.) The radiographer may place a receiver “coil” around the relevant area of your body. You will need to remain very still while the acquisition is done in order to prevent blurring of the images. You will hear some tapping from the scanner but in general it is much quieter than many other MRI scanners.

You will not feel anything while having the scan. There is no pain or unusual feeling of any type and you will experience no after effects.

YES. There are some things that can prevent you from having an MRI scan. You will be asked to complete a safety questionnaire on arrival at the Centre which will cover the contra-indications-but if you are making an appointment and any of the factors below affect you, please discuss this with us in advance as it may save you a wasted trip.

Contra-indications can include:

  • Pacemaker
  • IUDs
  • Surgical clips
  • Pregnancy
  • Metal fragments in the body
  • Metal pins/plates/screws
  • Joint replacements
  • Metal objects in eyes
  • Cochlear implants
  • IVC filters
  • Metal heart valves
  • Penile implants

It is also important to tell us if you have any tattoos or piercings.

Watches, jewellery, coins, keys, cigarette lighters, penknives, credit cards. piercings, hairgrips, wigs, nicotine patches, and hearing aids must be removed.

Your scan will be reported by a Consultant Radiologist. It will normally be available in a couple of days unless needed urgently. The images and report will be sent to your referring practitioner. If you have a follow up appointment, please make us aware of the details so we can ensure the report and images are available in time.