Knee pain is a common issue that can lead to a variety of diagnoses. For many cases, an MRI of the knee is required to truly see what is going on. An MRI uses magnetic fields to create accurate images of the knee, including muscles, ligaments, tendons, menisci and articular cartilage.
Tendons and Menisci – Many knee injuries involve tendons, ligaments, and menisci, like ACL and MCL tears. A regular X-ray cannot detect damage to these parts of the knee, so an MRI is required.
Tumors – If your doctor suspects that there may be a tumor present in the knee, and MRI will enable them to see it clearly.
Detecting Severe Trauma – Injuries to the knee are sometimes more severe than they appear on the surface. An MRI gives your doctor a very clear image of the extent of the damage. This enables them to provide a more accurate diagnosis and therefore a more effective treatment plan.
Preventing Further Injury – Many athletes who suffer knee injuries are anxious to get back on the field, but this can be dangerous if they are not fully healed. Re-injury can sometimes cause permanent retirement from sports. A knee MRI can help determine if the knee is fully healed so that the patient does not exacerbate a previous injury or cause a new one.