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Fear from claustrophobia in the MRI Tunnel – panic over for feet!

We all know how fear begins. A silly prank when you are small. The fear of confined space is no laughing matter. Alison’s big fear when consulting me was just that when she was sent by her GP to me for a diagnosis. We can all face down many threats and indeed we are designed to cope but some things can be extremely disturbing. My own father used to hold me down so I could not move as a child. After a few moments I was kicking and screaming. Then the big event. My sister locked me in a cupboard. Being smaller and younger she turned the key but could not repeat the effect to unlock the cupboard. Panic set in and I was yelling for all I was worth. I have been a patient and been into that MRI tunnel several times. It is tight and soon one’s breathing is heavy. You have to breath slowly and know the lovely radiographer at Spire gives you a panic button so you can get out. What about FEET THEN?

MRI’s are fantastic though and provide much more information than x-rays. We can look at tendons, ligaments as well as muscles, cartilage, move deeper into bones and the marrow. As a consultant I do use this method for feet but compared to modern ultrasound it is much rarer. The good news for patients is this. The leg goes into the machine while your body sticks out.Knees,ankles and feet are perfectly clearly viewed without any such claustrophobia being imposed. So, as far as feet go, well you have no worries ahead of you if we need a foot MRI.

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