MRI Imaging in Knoxville

What is an MRI?

The well-known abbreviation MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create the most detailed diagnostic images of the human body available in medicine today. MRI imaging is so powerful and accurate that it can be used to see bones, blood vessels, nerves, and soft tissues within the body. Unlike x-rays and CT scans, MRI imaging does not expose the patient to radiation.

What will I experience during my MRI?

Before your MRI, you will be asked to remove all jewelry, glasses, underwire bras, and anything else that is metal on your body. Click here for a detailed list of items we suggest you avoid wearing or bringing to your scan. You will lie down on the MRI table. At this point, the imagining specialist performing your MRI will step out of the room where the MRI machine is located and into a side room where the controls for the machine are located. You’ll be able to talk to the imaging specialist via a microphone during the procedure.

Your doctor’s orders for the MRI will determine what part of the body is put into the MRI machine, which looks like a long tube with openings at the head and foot. The table that you are laying on will automatically move into position within the MRI machine. You’ll hear the machine startup, which is quite loud but should not hurt your ears. You will hear a variety of humming, tapping, thumping, and clicking sounds. You may be given earplugs to use during the procedure to help you feel more comfortable.

You will lie still while the moveable part of the MRI machine moves around you, creating the images that your doctor has ordered. MRIs typically take around 20 minutes to complete but can be shorter or longer depending on what has been requested by your physician. The entire procedure is completely comfortable and painless. You cannot feel the magnetic field or the radio waves responsible for taking the MRI images.

Once the MRI process has completed, the table you are laying on will automatically exit the machine and you can get up and walk out.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my scan take?
Your MRI will typically last no more than 20 minutes. In rare cases, it may take up to 40 minutes, depending on what is requested by your physician.
What is the weight limit?

Parkwest / Fort Sanders: 550 pounds
Our scanner at Parkwest and Fort Sanders is a traditional MRI machine and more of a CT-like experience. Every scan we offer will be completed in 20 minutes or less. 

Oak Ridge (extremity scanner only): 350 pounds
Our scanner at Oak Ridge is only for extremities such as: Fingers, Hands, Wrist, Elbows, Toes, Feet, Ankles, and Knees

When will my results be available?
Your TOC Physician will review the results of your scan at your next scheduled appointment. TOC partners with Radsource to read your TOC MRI scans. Radsource uses musculoskeletal radiologists that specialize in reading orthopedic MRI exams. We partner with Radsource to ensure our patients are getting the most accurate results from the experts. 
How do I get a copy?

You can request a copy in the office from your TOC Physician’s team.


Our team will contact your insurance and obtain authorization for the MRI scan and MRI scan read. You will be scheduled once we have approval.

Self-pay options:  If you do not have insurance or you have chosen to not bill your insurance, we do have self pay options available.  The self pay price includes the cost of the scan as well as the cost of the scan read. You can find more information on this on our pricing page

We simplify the billing process for you all into one! You will not receive a surprise bill from the Radiology group that reads your scan after it has been completed.

Will I have to get an injection?

Not necessarily.  If your doctor has ordered an MRI, there is no injection needed.

If your doctor has ordered an MRA, you will need an injection.  An MRA is a type of scan that is pared with a contrast agent to enhance the image obtained on the MRI.  The entry point for the injection is prepped in a sterile fashion. Numbing medicine is then injected into the entry point with a very small needle. When the injection is complete, you may be asked to move the joint to facilitate the spread of the contrast within the joint.

More Information on MRA Scans

Your TOA doctor will order an MRI if needed to aid in the diagnosis or treatment protocols and to schedule your appointment to be seen by an orthopedic specialist for evaluation.

Need to get an MRI in Knoxville and not sure where to turn? Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance offers MRI imaging services at our locations at The Tower at Parkwest and TOA at Fort Sanders Regional in Knoxville and Oak Ridge Physicians Plaza in Oak Ridge.

The Tower at Parkwest

9430 Park West Boulevard, Suite 235
Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: (865) 560-8574

Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

TOA at Fort Sanders Regional

1819 Clinch Avenue, Suite 100
Knoxville, TN 37916

Phone: (865) 560-8574

Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

TOA at Oak Ridge Physicians Plaza

988 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Suite 100
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830

Phone: (865) 560-8574

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.