Wrist MRI scan | Medserena Open MRI

Medserena Wrist MRI scan

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

Book a Wrist MRI referral now

Many Scans Available within 48 hours

Wrist MRI scan variation and pricing


From £430.00

Wrists Bilateral

From £660.00

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 Wrist MRI scans

A wrist MRI scan can give you a detailed comprehensive view of the inside workings of your wrist, an essential joint vital for controlling hand function. An MRI scan can reveal fractures in bones, signs of arthritis, ligament, and tendon tears as well as inflammation, nerve compression and blood supply issues.

The big advantage of an open sitting wrist MRI Scan over a conventional flatbed MRI tunnel scan is the wrist can be examined when sitting in a more natural position with the wrist bent or extended, viewed from different angles, enabling patients to be scanned in the position that is causing pain.

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

With so many bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints keeping hands and wrists working, there is susceptibility for injury. In fact, injuries to the hands and wrist are some of the most common ailments facing athletes. Approximately 25 per cent of all sports-related injuries involve the hand or wrist. Common injuries generally fall into two distinct categories: traumatic (acute injuries) or overuse (chronic).

What problems can a wrist MRI scan detect?

The anatomy of the wrist is quite complex, as it is compact and contains many densely packed small structures. The excellent soft tissue contrast provided by wrist MRI scans can help clearly differentiate between different anatomy.

The causes of wrist pain include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: This is where the median nerve, originating as a group of nerves in the neck and coming together to form one nerve all the way down the arm, becomes compressed as it passes through a short tunnel of carpal bones in the wrist. The nerve compression causes tingling in the hands and problems with grip and strength, as well as pain in the wrist and forearm, which can be worse at night. In most patients, carpal tunnel syndrome gets worse over time, so early diagnosis and treatment are important.
  • Avascular necrosis: This stems from reduced blood flow to the end of the bones, often caused by a fracture, commonly of the scaphoid bone. It can lead to tiny breaks in the bone and the bone's eventual collapse.
  • Tendonitis: De Quervain’s syndrome Inflammation of the sheath (the synovium). This surrounds the two tendons that are involved with moving the thumb. Pain is more intense when the thumb is lifted. It sometimes needs surgical decompression of the tendon.
  • Hidden fractures: An MRI may show up wrist fractures that weren’t visible or not as clearly visible on an x-ray, due to falls and trauma.
  • Ligament tears: Tears in ligaments such as the scapholunate ligament in the wrist can cause pain and instability and are often caused by a fall onto an outstretched hand.
  • Arthritis damage: The wrist bones can be damaged by osteoarthritis, (thinning of the cartilage between bones), as well as rheumatoid arthritis, where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue, including joints.
  • Ganglion cysts: These are benign lumps filled with fluid that pop up from ligaments and tendons most commonly on the back of the hand at the wrist joint, but also on the palm side of the wrist. They can cause swelling and sometimes pain. Some disappear spontaneously, others may need aspiration (draining off fluid with a needle) or surgery.

Other benefits of a Medserena wrist 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. Sitting upright is more comfortable for patients and the open front means patients can speak to a friend or relative or watch television throughout as distraction.

Open MRI scans can also accommodate 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 will depend on the patient’s build and the area of anatomy to be investigated.

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.