So, somehow I tore up my shoulder. I’ve been taking pain meds and suffering some serious pain over the last month or so. However, one absolutely awesome thing was seeing the images from my MRI. That is one cool part of having a torn tendon!
So what exactly is an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging? From Wikipedia:
In an MRI machine a radio frequency transmitter is briefly turned on, producing an electromagnetic field. The photons of this field have just the right energy, known as the resonance frequency, to flip the spin of the aligned protons in the body. As the intensity and duration of application of the field increase, more aligned spins are affected. After the field is turned off, the protons decay to the original spin-down state and the difference in energy between the two states is released as a photon. It is these photons that produce the electromagnetic signal that the scanner detects. The frequency the protons resonate at depends on the strength of the magnetic field. As a result of conservation of energy, this also dictates the frequency of the released photons. The photons released when the field is removed have an energy – and therefore a frequency – due to the amount of energy the protons absorbed while the field was active.
The MRI machine that you get crammed in is pretty loud – I got to listen to NPR while the scans took place, over the course of about 30 minutes. Here’s the result – I hope you enjoy looking at my shoulder meat and bone!