Upper Leg MRI scan | Medserena Open MRI

Medserena Upper Leg MRI Scan

MRI scan of the upper leg; non-invasive procedure to help diagnose medical conditions relating to blood flow, tendons, muscles, cartilage, ligaments and bones of the upper 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 upper leg MRI scan information.

Book an Upper Leg MRI referral now

Many Scans Available within 48 hours

Superior healthcare service with every Private MRI scan

Calm, dignified

Little or no
waiting time

Largest MRI scan centres


Watch TV while

Medical report included

About Upper Leg MRI Scans

Whether it is a fracture, nerve compression, a ligament tear or a tendon strain, an MRI scan is the most sensitive type of imaging for picking up a problem.

Symptoms can include pain, stiffness, swelling, aching, numbness, sharp pain and loss of strength and function and inability to bear weight on the leg.

Occasionally, problems felt in your thigh can be caused by a back problem even though you do not feel pain in your back. People with this sort of problem often describe the pain as pins and needles, sharp, hot, or burning.

The big advantage of an open upper leg MRI scan over a conventional flatbed MRI tunnel scan is the upper leg can be examined in a weightbearing position enabling patients to be scanned in the position that is causing pain.

An upright upper leg MRI scan gives a true picture of what is happening inside the upper leg when it is subjected to the natural everyday pressures of gravity, picking up problems that might have been missed or underestimated on a conventional flatbed MRI scanner.

Having an open scan is also much less stressful for patients who are anxious or who suffer from claustrophobia.

Upper leg problems an MRI scan can detect

There are many problems that may cause pain and discomfort in the upper leg. These include:

  • Sports injuries: The hamstrings are tendons that attach muscle to the bone allowing bending and the flexibility needed for movements such as jumping. Hamstring tears are common amongst sportsmen and women and are associated with sudden movements or more gradual longer-term overstretching.
  • Muscle Strains: The quadricep muscles are at the front of the thigh. Common injuries include a tear or pulled muscle, causing pain and tenderness, swelling and a weakened leg. Quadricep tendonitis occurs from repeated microtrauma at the muscle tendon junction which may overcome the tendon’s ability to heal itself. Tissue breakdown occurs triggering a response that leads to tendinosis and even partial tears from degeneration or scarring of the tendon.
  • Bone Tumours: Bone cancer can affect any bone, but most cases develop in the long bones of the legs (or upper arms). The main symptoms include: persistent bone pain that gets worse over time and continues into the night and swelling and redness (inflammation) over a bone, which can make movement difficult if the affected bone is near a joint.
  • Compartment syndrome: This is where bleeding or swelling occurs increasing pressure inside fascia tissue, which surrounds bundles of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. It can be chronic, building up gradually causing a short-term ache after exercise or an acute pain that comes on suddenly after an injury, which is a medical emergency.
  • Iliotibial band syndrome: Iliotibial band syndrome is an overuse injury of the connective issues that are located on the outer thigh and knee. The iliotibial band runs along the lateral or outside aspect of the thigh, from the pelvis to the tibia, crossing both the hip and knee joints. The iliotibial band is an important stabiliser structure of the lateral part of the knee as the joint flexes and extends.

Other benefits of a Medserena upper leg MRI

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 stones (226kg). However, suitability will depend on the patient’s body shape and the area of the anatomy that needs 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.