Sports Imaging

  • Introduction
  • Our Mission
  • Sports Injuries
  • Imaging Modalities


If you are someone who enjoys sport but have suffered an injury, you will understand how frustrating it is to not be able to participate, or even carry out everyday activities without being in pain or discomfort.

Sporting injuries depend on the sport, and can involve the shoulder, elbow, knee, hip or ankle to the neck, back or hand. They are typically due to sprains of ligaments or strains of tendons or muscles, resulting in tenderness and pain of the affected part.

Our Mission

Musculoskeletal Imaging in Merlin Park Imaging Centre has been established to provide fast and accurate diagnosis of all types of sporting injuries and facilitate effective and professional rehabilitation.

The Centre is equipped with a Multidetector CT scanner, as well as state of the art Wide Open Bore MRI technology so that the most appropriate examination can be offered to diagnose the nature and extent of the sporting injury allowing immediate implementation of effective treatment.

Our mission is to:

  • to ensure appointments are available as quickly as possible – often on the same day.
  • ensure that images will be reported by a consultant specialist in sports injury imaging who will provide a fast and accurate report within 24 hours.
  • offer individual, group, team and club packages liaising with your Team doctor and Consultant to discuss your imaging requirements and follow up imaging plan.


When do I consider sports related injury imaging?

Foot Pain

Causes of foot pain include stress fractures, plantar faciitis, plantar plate injuries and ligament injuries which maybe easily diagnosed by MRI. MRI with contrast is used to diagnose Morton’s neuroma. CT can be used for diagnosing fractures, healing of fractures and coalition.

Lower Leg and Ankle Injuries

MRI is used to evaluate leg and ankle pain that may be caused by stress fractures, ligament injuries, ankle instability and cartilage abnormalities. MRI is used to diagnose tendon and muscle injuries around the ankle. CT is used to diagnose fractures and assess healing. Both CT and MRI may be used prior to surgery.

Knee injuries

Knee pain can be secondary to ligament injury: most commonly anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL). Knee pain can also occur because of cartilage loss or meniscal tear not evident on plain radiographs but diagnosed with great accuracy by MRI. Information acquired using MRI allows the orthopaedic surgeon to decide and plan arthroscopy as appropriate.

Thigh Injuries

MRI is very useful for evaluating patients with hip pain, which is often a challenging diagnostic dilemma. MRI aids in diagnosis of femoracetabular impingement of both “cam” and “pincer” type as well as causes of groin pain such as 'Sports hernia'. MR arthrography is the best imaging modality for detecting labral tears. MRI may also be used to diagnose muscles and tendon injuries around the hip, pelvis and thigh.

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain may be acute or chronic. MRI is excellent at evaluating lower back pain, diagnosing disc disease and identifying nerve impingement. MRI is also used to assess muscle injuries. CT is used to diagnose fractures, spondylolysis and is used for surgical planning.

Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder pain is a common presenting complaint. MRI may be used to diagnose rotator cuff tears, muscle injuries, ligament injuries, distal clavicular osteolysis or cartilage abnormalities. MR or CT arthrography may be used to evaluate the labrum. MRI is used to assess instability of the shoulder and shoulder impingement syndromes. Arthrography is not performed in MPIC. Our schedulers will advise you where it maybe performed. The MRI or CT can subsequently be scheduled in MPIC

Elbow Injuries

Elbow pain can occur as a result of an acute injury or because of overuse phenomenon. MRI is used to diagnose ligament injuries: ulnar collateral or lateral ligament injuries, inflammation of the tendons; “tennis or golfers elbow” or tendon tears.

MRI is used to diagnose intraarticular bodies and assess cartilage abnormalities.


MRI demonstrates the anatomy and abnormalities of the tendons and ligaments of the wrist and fingers with exquisite detail.

It is used to diagnose inflammation as well as tears of the tendons. MRI is very useful to the hand surgeon for surgical planning following ligament injury. Both CT and MRI are used to diagnose fractures that may not be seen on routine radiograph.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI in sports and musculoskeletal applications is used to evaluate trauma- and sports-related injuries as well as inflammatory and degenerative conditions. MPIC has a new state of the art wide bore high field magnet ideal for musculoskeletal imaging, minimizing any feeling of claustrophobia and providing faster imaging.


MR & CT arthrography

MR & CT arthrography use intra-articular contrast agent, to evaluate patients with unexplained joint pain or postoperative knee and shoulder problems or to follow other noncontrast-agent imaging studies that show abnormality. MR arthrography aids in the evaluation of the ligaments of the wrist and is especially helpful for evaluating labral injuries of the hip and shoulder joints. Arthrography is not performed in MPIC. Our schedulers will advise you where it maybe performed. The MRI or CT can subsequently be scheduled in MPIC

Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT)

MDCT provides highly detailed cross-sectional images of most internal structures and is particularly effective for examining the skeletal system. With MDCT, we can image the skeletal system with extremely high resolution (0.5-0.7 mm) in any plane allowing us to detect occult fractures and generate 3D volume rendered images for surgical planning.