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Calf MRI Scan from £199

A comprehensive MRI Scan of your calf will help provide in-depth view of the bones,
muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, nerves, and blood supply in the lower limb.

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Calf muscles are pivotal in facilitating everyday movements such as walking, running, and jumping. When calf pain occurs, it can significantly impact daily activities and overall mobility. Although often dismissed as a minor issue, persistent or worsening calf pain should not be ignored as it may indicate a serious underlying condition.

The Importance of Calf Muscles

The calf is comprised of several key muscles that work in concert to execute lower leg movements. These muscles include the gastrocnemius and soleus, which are crucial for flexing the foot and facilitating movements that propel the body forward. Understanding the complex nature of these muscles is essential for diagnosing issues effectively.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Calf Pain

Determining when to seek medical help for calf pain can be challenging. Common causes range from simple muscle strains to more serious conditions such as blood clots or muscle tears. If calf pain persists despite rest and home treatments, or if it escalates in intensity, it's crucial to consult a healthcare professional. An MRI scan may be recommended if initial physical examinations don't clearly identify the cause of pain.

What is a Calf MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the calf involves using a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the lower leg, including:

  • Bones: Tibia and fibula.
  • Muscles: Including the deeper muscles of the calf.
  • Tendons and Ligaments: Structures that connect muscles to bones and joints.
  • Nerves and Blood Vessels: Essential for circulatory and neurological functions.
  • Soft Tissues: Other components within the lower leg.

This diagnostic tool is non-invasive and does not use ionizing radiation, making it a safe option for repeated use.

Why Perform a Calf MRI?

MRI scans are invaluable for diagnosing a variety of conditions that could be causing calf pain, such as:

  • Muscle and Tendon Tears: Detailed images help identify the extent and nature of any tears
  • Bone Abnormalities: Including fractures that may not be visible on X-rays.
  • Vascular Problems: Such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  • Nerve Issues: Including pinched nerves or nerve damage.

Symptoms Necessitating a Calf MRI

An MRI may be necessary if you experience symptoms such as:

  • Persistent or severe pain not alleviated by rest or over-the-counter pain relief.
  • Swelling, which could indicate inflammation or fluid build-up.
  • Changes in skin color or temperature, suggesting circulatory issues.
  • Reduced mobility or stability in the foot or ankle.

The MRI Procedure Explained

Undergoing an MRI scan is straightforward but requires some preparation:

  • Medical Questionnaire: Essential for assessing any potential risks or contraindications for MRI.
  • Clothing: Patients are typically asked to change into a hospital gown to prevent any interference from clothing fasteners.
  • MRI Scan: You'll lie on a table that slides into the MRI machine. It's crucial to remain still during the scan to ensure clear images. The procedure usually lasts between 20 to 45 minutes.
  • Noise: The MRI machine makes loud banging noises, which are normal during the scanning process.

After the MRI

There's no downtime after an MRI scan, allowing patients to resume normal activities immediately. However, if a contrast dye was used, or if the patient received sedatives due to claustrophobia, additional care may be necessary.

Cost and Accessibility in the UK

In the UK, the cost of a calf MRI can vary. Private MRI scans can be more expensive than NHS-provided services but offer the advantage of shorter waiting times. On average, the cost of a calf MRI at a private clinic might start around £289, significantly lower than some other regions.


Calf pain can range from a minor nuisance to a symptom of a serious health issue. MRI scans provide a detailed view of the internal structures of the calf, helping healthcare providers diagnose the cause of pain accurately. If you're experiencing persistent or severe calf pain, consider consulting your doctor about the potential benefits of an MRI scan.

For more information or to schedule an MRI scan, please contact our clinic directly. At MRI Plus, we are dedicated to providing timely and efficient diagnostic services to help you return to pain-free living. Our online booking system is available for appointments within just a few working days, ensuring that you get the care you need without unnecessary delay.


Our expert clinical team will guide you through the process, with a 1-1 consultation, referral, and digital imaging report included in the price of your scan booking.