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Radiology/MRI and X-ray positioning is it relevant?


Hi there,
I was wondering if your able to shed some light on position on a MRI. Some history- I broke my right femur mid shaft, spiral with a butterfly segment (leg vs fence on a horse) almost 24 years ago and at the time I had an IM rod placed. Since the accident I have always had a lateral leg rotation it  was fixed at what I would say was the exact way I was on the ground after the fall.

I have always had an Impingement, weak right side and  recently got worse since exercising has been increased to 6-9 times a week.

My question relates to an experience today having an MRI and standard hip femur X-rays - in your opinion why were the technicians so fixated on the angle of my leg for imaging purposes? I was strapped, propped and weighted  into positions that clearly was no longer natural even when I made comment that it was painful and I would not be able to hold the position. In the MRI my leg was shaking and jumping and actually brought me to tears at the fifth 4 minute interval...

I didn't ask the question at the time but I am now curious why the imaging was at the so called correct angle?  Even  though that was not my natural position in rest or activity for the last 20 odd years... I went in with this limiting angle issue to my orthopaedic surgeon so now confused will he get the information from the MRI and films he needs?

Hello Hayley,

Sorry for the experience, sounds like it wasn't pleasant at all.  That should never be the case. Having said that, xrays are done at certain angles and with certain position to uncover different structures, especially around the joint.  Otherwise, there are a lot of overlap of bone and details are obscured. However, if a patient cannot get into a certain position, technologists should not really make it painful.  As far as MRI is concerned, you should have been as comfortable as possible. I am not sure why your leg was shaking. Perhaps, it was painful and that's why, kind of restless.   Your doctor probably will get enough information; although if there is a lot of motion on MRI due to leg shaking, it may make the evaluation of the images limited.

Hope this is helpful.



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Michael K.


Almost any kind of questions regarding any types of radiology exams, procedures, meaning of radiology reports etc...


12 year experience in the field of radiology

American Society of Neuroradiology, Senior Member Society of Pediatric Radiology, Active Member

Radiology Seminars in pediatric neurology American Journal of Roentgenology American Journal of Neuroradiology

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