Radiology at the Orthopaedic Institute

Radiology at the Orthopaedic Institute provides musculoskeletal imaging techniques, such as MRI and bone mineral density measurements, as well as image-guided procedures for the treatment of osteoarthritis. In addition, we offer same-day X-ray services for your convenience during your orthopedic appointment.

The close collaboration between orthopedic surgery and diagnostic radiology allows better management and treatment of patients. Our dedicated radiologists and technologists have many years of expertise in the imaging of bones, joints and soft tissues.

Some of the innovative techniques and technologies available at the Orthopaedic Institute include:

  • Show More
  • High Field High Resolution MRI operating at 3 Tesla, used for joint and spine disorders, bone and soft tissue disorders, and rheumatologic diseases. High resolution MRI at 3 Tesla allows better detection of pathology than standard MRI.
  • MR arthrography for better evaluation of shoulder, wrist, elbow and hip joints to find the cause of pain and limited function. This technique improves analysis of cartilage and the shoulder and hip labrum.
  • Newly developed MRI techniques to analyze cartilage quality before cartilage is lost, which allows us to assess the risk for osteoarthritis. These techniques include T1rho and T2 relaxation time mapping.
  • Novel metal suppression techniques to image patients with joint replacements, implants and other hardware using MRI.
  • MR technologies to suppress motion in patients with pain and claustrophobia, which allows us to obtain better image quality.
  • Joint injection for osteoarthritis pain treatment including local anesthetics, corticosteroids and viscosupplements to lubricate the joints (hyaluronate, Synvisc).
  • Bone mineral density measurements using DXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry).
  • Tomosynthesis for better detection of fractures and fracture healing.

MRI and Claustrophobia

While open scanners are helpful for patients with claustrophobia, their image quality is generally worse than that of our 3 Tesla scanner. Poor image quality may limit interpretation of the images.

Keep in mind that:

  • Our MRI is shorter, wider and well lit as compared to other MRIs.
  • Our staff understands claustrophobia.
  • Imaging of the lower extremities — knee, foot and leg exams — do not require entering the tube completely. Only the leg is in the tube.
  • Imaging of the shoulders or spine require entering the tube, and sedation should be considered. After being sedated, you should not drive a car or operate machinery.
  • Our super-fast motion correction imaging allows for shorter exam times and less time spent in the scanner.
  • Show Less

Getting Here

Radiology at the Orthopaedic Institute
1500 Owens St.
San Francisco, CA 94158
Scheduling: (415) 353-2573
Fax: (415) 353-7299

Hours: Monday to Friday
7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Additional Locations
Imaging Center at China Basin
Radiology at Divisadero Street
Radiology at Parnassus
Radiology at the Ambulatory Care Center
UC Imaging Center


A parking lot is available adjacent to 1500 Owens St.

Parking fees are:

  • First hour $3
  • Two hours $5
  • Each additional hour $3
  • More than seven hours $24
  • After 6 p.m., $2 flat rate

Patients with disabled placards or license plates pay $3 for the first hour and $5 for up to 24 hours.

Parking fees are paid in advance at one of three kiosks. The kiosks accept cash (coins and bills up to $10) and credit cards (Visa and MasterCard).

Parking garages are available nearby, at 1625 Owens St. and at 1630 Third St., at higher hourly rates.