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Stand-Up MRIs: A Revolution in Injury Detection

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New technology provides huge boost to insurance/legal claims of accident victims

For years patients with painful soft tissue injuries have struggled to prove that they are injured. While traditional MRIs are very effective at detecting some injuries, they are relatively ineffective at spotting others. Enter the Stand-Up MRI, also known as the open or positional MRI. This ground-breaking new technology has helped scores of accident victims get the injury treatment and/or monetary compensation they deserve. Because there are less than 150 Stand-Up MRIs worldwide, patients frequently find it beneficial to travel to these specialized centers in order to have their MRIs performed.

The Technology

The secret to the effectiveness of the Stand-Up MRI lies in its ability to scan patients in multiple positions. Unlike ordinary MRI machines, which require patients to lie down, Stand-Up MRIs allow MRI technicians to scan a patient while sitting, standing, leaning, bending or laying down. In other words, the patient can be scanned in almost any position — including the position(s) causing the pain.

The flexibility of the Stand-Up MRI allows doctors to diagnose weight-bearing injuries. According to John Lawler, Director of sales and marketing for Stand Up Mid America MRI (SUMA), located in Golden Valley, Minnesota, "Doctors are stunned when they see the types of injuries Stand-Up MRIs can detect. Many of the painful injuries that were impossible to see before are appearing on these scans." Examples include lower back injuries such as herniated discs, and the severe whiplash injuries that so commonly occur in drunk driving accidents and other car accidents — even low-speed accidents. (To learn about DUI-related accidents and DUI attorneys, refer to our DUI section.)

Use of Stand-Up MRIs by Chiropractors, Therapists

Traditional MRIs fail to identify many injuries, making it very difficult for doctors and other therapists to pinpoint the source of a patient's discomfort. This often leads to a certain degree of guesswork on the part of the practitioner. In theory, Stand-Up MRI scans have eliminated this problem for many types of injuries by identifying previously undetectable injuries. Unfortunately, the vast majority of patients are still examined with traditional MRI machines. As Stand-Up MRI scans become more available, a revolution in the treatment of soft tissue injuries will likely take place.

Lawler says chiropractors are especially excited about the new technology. "When I first began to explain the benefits of weight-bearing scans to chiropractors," says Lawler, "their response was, 'You're preaching to the choir.'" According to Lawler, for years chiropractors have made a point of taking Stand-Up X-rays, because they understand the importance of scanning injuries in a weight-bearing position.

In recent years, SUMA has teamed up with hundreds of chiropractors and other therapists to improve the diagnoses and treatment of people with soft tissue injuries.

Find a chiropractor near you for more information.

Stand-Up MRIs Useful in Lawsuits

The ramifications of Stand-Up MRI technology have begun to stretch beyond the field of medicine and into the insurance and legal arenas. This is because Stand-Up MRIs have allowed doctors and chiropractors to identify and diagnose injuries that, up until recently, were impossible to see. Armed with proof of these injuries, accident victims have gradually begun to persuade insurance companies to honor legitimate claims. Those insurance companies that continue to refuse these claims face the prospect of a lawsuit.

Most insurance companies would rather settle a well-supported claim than deal with a lawsuit, although this is not always the case. Some instances of denied claims have resulted in successful lawsuits on the part of accident victims.

Insurance companies aren't the only parties facing lawsuits due to Stand-Up MRI technology. MRI scans can also be very useful in demonstrating harm in a personal injury lawsuit. Thanks to this technology, car accident lawyers are now better able to help victims obtain personal injury settlements or court awards as compensation for their injuries.

But regardless of any legal implications, the availability of Stand-Up MRI technology is always a plus for the patient. As Lawler puts it, "We give accident victims a picture with an arrow pointing to their injury."

Stand-Up MRI Centers

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a car accident or other high-impact incident, you may benefit from an MRI scan performed at a Stand-Up MRI facility. Stand-Up MRIs, also known as open MRIs or upright MRIs, allow doctors to identify injuries that traditional MRIs are unable to detect. They also allow patients to provide proof of injury to their auto insurance adjustors. Stand-Up MRIs are also used to show injury in personal injury lawsuits.

To learn how a Stand-Up MRI can help you and your family obtain the treatment and/or compensation you deserve, visit the website of one of the Stand-Up MRI centers listed below.

    Stand Up Mid America MRI
    604 N. Lilac Drive
    Golden Valley, MN 55422
    (763) 521-5000
    (877) 521-5001