Knee MRI scan

About Knee MRI Scan

A Knee MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan is a noninvasive imaging technique commonly used to diagnose various knee injuries and conditions. MRI is best at imaging soft tissues such as the menisci, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage and can detect inflammation, swelling, tears, osteoarthritis and other joint abnormalities. MRI is often used to plan and or guide treatment not only for injuries sustained during sports or other activities but also for chronic knee conditions.

Preparation for Knee MRI

Prior to an MRI of the knee, it is important to inform the imaging technician or radiologist of any pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes and pregnancy, any medications you are currently taking and if you have any allergies (including allergy to contrast material).

Knee MRI Procedure

The typical procedure for a knee MRI involves lying on a table and sliding into a large tube-like structure. Normally you will be given headphones and can communicate with the technologist, who will remain in the room observing you. The machine will make loud and continuous noise while the scan is running that can last from twenty to forty-five minutes.

Types of Knee MRI Scans

There are several types of knee MRI scans including T1-weighted, T2-weighted, PD weighted scans and MR Arthrograms. The T1-weighted scan is most commonly used to detect tears, joint dislocation or instability. The T2-weighted scan is good for detecting fluid accumulation in the knee joint and can help diagnose acute inflammation. The PD weighted scan is good for detecting bone marrow lesions. MR Arthrograms are special type of MRI scans which involves injecting a contrast material into the knee joint to help diagnose ligament and meniscal tears.

Risks of Knee MRI Scans

Generally, knee MRI scans are considered safe. However, there is a small risk of allergic reactions for people who are allergic to the contrast material used. Additionally, people with certain medical conditions or implanted medical devices may not be able to have a MRI scan. It's important to discuss any concerns with your doctor or imaging technician prior to the scan.

Why Get a Knee MRI?

Knee MRI scans are often recommended to accurately diagnose knee injuries and conditions that may otherwise remain undetected on traditional x-rays. The imaging technique can accurately detect soft tissue abnormalities such as tears, meniscal damage, ligament damage, tendinitis, and cartilage degeneration that could easily go unnoticed on x-ray. It is also used to monitor the progress of a disease or injury.

When to Get a Knee MRI

A knee MRI is typically recommended if an individual experiences knee pain or an acute injury, or if an underlying condition is suspected based on the results of other medical examinations. Depending on the issue, the doctor may order a single MRI or series of images to track the progression of the condition over time.