THE “MI EYE” AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO MRI (MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING) SCANS
No more waiting for MRI scans and multiple clinic visits for sports injuries diagnoses
What is the mi-eye?
This is a device that allows expert surgeons to perform a “mini” keyhole operation in the clinical setting giving a dynamic picture of what is going on inside a joint using only a local anaesthetic. It can also be used for some simple procedures in the clinic setting meaning patients get the benefits of surgery without the risks of a general anaesthetic and the inconvenience of needing to be starved.
What kinds of problems do you see that would normally be referred on for an MRI?
Many patients with shoulder problems will need further imaging to look for problems inside the shoulder joint in particular in the sporting population. Many patients with knee injuries will need referral for MRI for suspected ligament injuries or tears.
What are the advantages of the Mi Eye compared to an MRI?
The problem with most MRI scans is that they provide a static image of something that may be a dynamic problem. The other problem is that MRI scans are time consuming and for some patients who are unable to lie flat or still in an MRI scanner this is an issue. Many patients find MRI scanners claustrophobic and some patients find that they are very noisy which some patients find unsettling. Some larger patients also can’t fit into conventional scanners easily which is a problem for many of our rugby playing patients. Many MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans are requested to look for sports injuries and scans to look at shoulder require the use of a contrast agent which has to be injected into the joint, which has a very small risk of allergic reactions and has the same risk of infection as doing a mi eye procedure as a needle has to be introduced into the joint to introduce the contrast. Cardiac patients who have pacemakers or certain other medical devices may be unable to have MRI scans safely as they use a very powerful magnet to create the images which can interfere with some devices. Patients who have had previous sports injuries repaired with keyhole techniques who have another injury can be hard to interpret their imaging as implants can cause an “artefact” which can make interpretation of MRI images difficult. MRI scans are also time consuming and necessitate secondary visits to discuss the results.
How does the Mi-Eye work?
The device is basically a sterile disposable needle that contains a camera that attaches to an iPad sized device that allows an expert with experience of keyhole surgery to look inside a joint and diagnose the problem. For shoulder problems patients can be asked to move their arms as though throwing objects to allow dynamic problems to be seen in “real-time”. Because this can be done by the patient under their own muscular control this often shows more relevant data than can be seen when moving a joint passively in an anaesthetised patient. The whole process takes about 10 minutes which is quicker than most MRI scans. Patients can see what is happening inside their joint which makes it much easier to understand a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan immediately.
Is it just a diagnostic tool?
No it is also a very helpful adjunct for a number of therapeutic treatments such as lipogem therapy as well as hydrodilatation treatment for frozen shoulders.
Is this technique recognised by anyone else?
MSK doctors are delighted to announce that the Alliance Health Group have agreed for any of their corporate patients to have Mi eye performed by one of the two named MSK doctors if indicated instead of MRI. At the time of writing (June 2019) Mr Yewlett and Prof Lee are the only named surgeons in the UK to be given this privilege in recognition of their expertise in the technique
Mr Alun Yewlett
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, MSK Doctors