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Foot and Ankle MRI Scan from £199

Having an MRI of the foot or ankle can highlight a wide range of conditions
such as fractures, muscle tears, infections, and tumors.

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Introduction to Foot and Ankle Health

Foot and ankle pain affects countless individuals in the UK, often significantly impairing mobility and quality of life. With each foot comprising 26 bones and 30 joints, along with numerous muscles, tendons, and ligaments, diagnosing pain sources can be complex. Often dismissed as minor, such pain, if persistent, can indicate more serious underlying issues.

The Complexity of the Foot and Ankle

The foot and ankle form a sophisticated mechanical structure that balances flexibility with stability, supporting the body’s weight while accommodating a range of activities. Given its complexity, pinpointing the exact cause of pain through a physical examination alone can be challenging, making imaging technology crucial for accurate diagnosis.

Why Consider an MRI Scan for Foot and Ankle Pain?

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan is a powerful diagnostic tool that provides detailed images of the internal structures of the foot and ankle, including bones, joints, and soft tissues. This non-invasive technique is particularly useful in diagnosing conditions that may not be visible on X-rays.

Anatomy Involved in MRI Scanning

The MRI targets several key components within the foot and ankle:

  • Bones and Joints: Including the tibia, fibula, talus, calcaneus, tarsals, metatarsals, and phalanges.
  • Soft Tissues: Covering muscles like the gastrocnemius, soleus, and peroneals, and important ligaments such as the Achilles tendon and the lateral ligament complex.

What Conditions Can an MRI Diagnose?

MRI scans of the foot and ankle can identify a range of conditions:

  • Tendon and Ligament Injuries: Such as tears and sprains that may not be evident in other forms of imaging.
  • Bone Fractures: Including stress fractures and other injuries hidden within the foot.
  • Arthritis: Degenerative changes in the joints.
  • Infections and Tumors: Identifying infections deep within the foot or potential tumors.
  • Structural Abnormalities: Such as bunions and deformities resulting from chronic conditions.

How Is an MRI Performed?

During an MRI scan:

  • Patient Preparation: Involves removing any metal objects due to the magnetic nature of the MRI, and possibly changing into a hospital gown.
  • Positioning: Patients will lie on a table that slides into the MRI machine, with the foot and ankle positioned to obtain clear images.
  • Procedure Duration: Typically takes about 10-30 minutes depending on the specifics of what needs to be examined.
  • Contrast Use: In some cases, a contrast agent might be injected to enhance the visibility of certain tissues.

Reading an MRI Scan

Understanding MRI results involves looking at slices of the ankle and foot in three planes: axial (top-down), coronal (front to back), and sagittal (side to side). Radiologists assess these images for abnormalities in bone density, soft tissue integrity, and signs of fluid or inflammation.

Benefits of Early Diagnosis

Early detection of foot and ankle disorders through MRI can prevent more serious complications by facilitating timely and appropriate treatment. Whether it’s managing arthritis or repairing a torn tendon, early intervention is often less invasive and more effective.

Cost and Accessibility

In the UK, private MRI scans can range from £200 to £500, often allowing quicker access than NHS services. Many private clinics offer appointments within days, providing a swift route to pain relief and recovery.

Post-Procedure Considerations

After the MRI scan, you can resume normal activities unless a sedative has been used. Results are usually ready within a few days, after which a detailed discussion with your healthcare provider will help determine the next steps.


Foot and ankle pain should not be ignored as it often signals deeper issues that require professional attention. An MRI scan offers a detailed assessment, guiding effective treatment to alleviate pain and restore function. For those suffering from persistent pain, opting for a timely MRI scan could mean the difference between a quick recovery and long-term disability.

Choosing to undergo an MRI scan at a private clinic can significantly reduce waiting times, helping you return to pain-free movement sooner. If you're considering this option, remember that understanding the full capabilities and procedures of MRI will help you make informed decisions about your health care. If you need further information or wish to book an appointment, do not hesitate to contact your local MRI center.


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.