Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an excellent imaging modality for the evaluation of pathologic processes of the hand and wrist. MRI of the hand and wrist provides high-resolution imaging of osseous structures and soft-tissue structures (including ligaments, tendons, nerves, and muscles) through the use of multiple imaging techniques and pulse sequences. This article updates orthopaedic surgeons on current MRI techniques and illustrates the spectrum of hand and wrist disease detectable by MRI. We searched PubMed with use of the keywords “MRI” plus “hand” or “wrist” for studies less than five years old evaluating MRI techniques. On the basis of a review of the recently published literature and the authors’ experience, we define and describe the applications of the following: (1) conventional, non-gadolinium-enhanced MRI, (2) gadolinium-enhanced MRI, and (3) MR arthrography. We also describe the classic MRI appearance of lesions commonly evaluated by MRI, including occult fracture, triangular fibrocartilage complex injury, interosseous ligament injury, extrinsic carpal ligament injury, thumb ulnar collateral ligament injury, traumatic tendon injury, finger pulley injury, ulnar impaction syndrome, tendinopathy, Kienböck disease, posttraumatic scaphoid osteonecrosis, infection, inflammatory arthropathy, compression neuropathy, and various soft-tissue masses.