How MRIs Made a Difference for 3 Famous Athletes

When used as one part of the diagnostic process, an MRI at Cheyenne Radiology can often shed light on the unknown or hard-to-tell aspects of a sports injury. Professional athletes often rely on an MRI diagnosis to help them find the right treatment and rehabilitation. Here are three athletes who benefitted from MRIs.


Injury: Following a perfect record in the 2007 regular season, NFL MVP Tom Brady suffered a torn ACL and MCL in the 2008 season opener, which put the Patriot’s star quarterback on injured reserve for the whole season.

Treatment: An MRI showed no damage to other ligaments and no torn cartilage, which helped doctors plan Brady’s treatment to get him back into the game. Brady’s ACL and MCL were repaired in surgery.

Recovery: Though infection threatened to delay his recovery, Brady was back in action for the 2009 season, set a record for the most touchdowns in a single quarter, and was named the 2009 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.


Injury: In 2012 the Yankees’ star shortstop fielded a ground ball and landed on his left ankle. A history of soreness and injuries in his ankle made this an especially worrisome injury.

Treatment: When an X-ray couldn’t reveal the extent of his injury, doctors used a combination of an MRI and a CT scan to figure out exactly what happened to Jeter’s ankle. When it was revealed to be a gruesome fracture, a specialist was called in to operate.

Recovery: Doctors predicted a full recovery after 4 to 5 months, but he continued to struggle with injuries in the 2013 season. During his final season, he broke multiple records and was honored by the MLB as one of the most accomplished shortstops of all time.


Injury: During the 2010 Players Championship, Tiger Woods was forced to withdraw after only six holes, citing pain and spasms in his neck and spine. He had been trying to play through the pain, but the spasms affected his ability to swing properly.

Treatment: A detailed MRI indicated inflammation in a facet joint of his neck, which typically causes pain, headaches, and difficulty rotating the head. Physical therapy was decided to be the best option for Woods.

Recovery: While a full recovery was assured, the length of rehabilitation was hard to predict. Woods hoped to defend his title at the Memorial Tournament a month later, but finished only 19th. He came back strong in 2012, winning his fifth Memorial Tournament—the only player to do so in the history of the tournament.

To learn more about MRIs, you may be interested in some of our other articles about MRIs:

What’s An MRI Exactly And What’s the Big Deal About Tesla?

3 Common Myths About MRIs