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Should I Get An Mri On My Knee

False Positives Sending The British Sailors To Surgery

MRI of Knee

Now here is another study on the problems of surgery selections based on MRIs. This comes from doctors of the British Navy publishing in their Journal of the Royal Naval Medical Service.

  • False-positive MRI scans may lead to unnecessary surgery for meniscus damage.
  • The false-positive patients who went to surgery prevented those with real meniscal tears from getting more prompt surgery because of a backlog.
  • And by the way, the false-positive patients should have never been sent to surgery.
  • It is also important for the surgeon to review the MRI scan itself, as well as the report. .
  • What Happens After An Mri

    After your MRI, your doctor will review the images made during the scan and use these to determine a diagnosis and start a treatment plan for you. Depending on whether your meniscus tear is mild, moderate, or severe, your doctor will recommend different treatments to help ease the pain while you heal. Your doctor may also talk with you about ways to prevent meniscus tears in the future, especially if you want to continue participating in sports and other activities.

    Ok So Your Knee Hurts When Should You Have An Mri

    Medical Director Phoenix Spine and Joint,

    • Most knee pain is due to arthritis, a torn ACL or meniscus
    • X-ray shows arthritis, but MRI is needed for a torn ACL or meniscus
    • Your age, injury history, physical exam findings, and x-ray will determine if MRI is needed

    Magnetic resonance imaging plays a very important role in getting rid of your knee pain. But when should you get an MRI of the knee? Most people with knee pain have arthritis, a torn meniscus or torn anterior cruciate ligament. Arthritis shows up on a plain x-ray but it takes MRI to know if you have a torn ACL or meniscus. If your problem is serious you need an MRI and doctor visit emergently, which means today. But for most people MRI can wait how long depends on whether your are over 55, and what your x-ray shows.

    In order to figure out if you need an MRI scan, a little background is in order. The meniscus is a horseshoe shaped piece of cartilage between the leg and thigh bones. The meniscus both cushions shocks in the knee, and prevents the bones from touching and grinding against one another as the knee moves. A torn meniscus causes clicking, popping, and locking of the knee. Because the meniscus is made of cartilage, and cartilage does not show up on x-ray, a torn meniscus will not show up on x-ray. Luckily, however, a torn meniscus lights up and is shown clearly on MRI.

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    What Does The Equipment Look Like

    The traditional MRI unit is a large cylinder-shaped tube surrounded by a circular magnet. You will lie on a table that slides into a tunnel towards the center of the magnet.

    Some MRI units, called short-bore systems, are designed so that the magnet does not completely surround you. Some newer MRI machines have a larger diameter bore, which can be more comfortable for larger patients or those with claustrophobia. “Open” MRI units are open on the sides. They are especially helpful for examining larger patients or those with claustrophobia. Open MRI units can provide high quality images for many types of exams. Open MRI may not be used for certain exams. For more information, consult your radiologist.

    Some facilities use smaller extremity scanners to image the joints of the arms or legs. With this type of system, you may recline or sit next to the MRI unit, while only the body part being scanned is placed inside the machine. Although these are smaller systems, they usually produce high quality images due to the unit’s powerful magnet.

    Mri Will Send You To Knee Replacement A Doctor After Physical Examination May Have Other Thoughts

    When should I get an MRI of my shoulder?

    Getting back to the discussion of MRI for knee osteoarthritis and the subsequent use of MRI imaging to send patients to possible unnecessary knee replacement surgery, we find that a lot of research suggests that the decision to have knee replacement surgery should be made after a physical examination and consultation. Unfortunately many times the decision is left to the interpretation of a scan or X-ray that may not provide the doctor with an accurate assessment.

    Late 2012 and 2013 research recommended to doctors that the determination of a patients knee pain was best left in the hands of an experienced examining physician as opposed to patient scans. Before you say to yourself, this study is ten years old, we remind you that the research presented in this article that is supportive of these finding are from the last year or two.

    Also Check: Knee Pain And Stiffness After Sitting

    How Is The Procedure Performed

    MRI exams may be done on an outpatient basis.

    The technologist will position you on the moveable exam table. They may use straps and bolsters to help you stay still and maintain your position.

    Small devices that contain coils that send and receive radiofrequency pulses may be placed around your knee to help improve image quality.

    If your exam uses a contrast material, a doctor, nurse, or technologist will insert an intravenous catheter into a vein in your hand or arm. They will use this IV to inject the contrast material.

    You will be placed into the magnet of the MRI unit. The technologist will perform the exam while working at a computer outside of the room. You will be able to talk to the technologist via an intercom.

    If your exam uses a contrast material, the technologist will inject it into the intravenous line after an initial series of scans. They will take more images during or following the injection.

    When the exam is complete, the technologist may ask you to wait while the radiologist checks the images in case more are needed.

    The technologist will remove your IV line after the exam is over and place a small dressing over the insertion site.

    The entire exam is usually completed in 45 minutes.

    See the Conventional Arthrography page for more information.

    Incidental Mri Findings Can Be A Potential Distraction

    • MRI frequently reveals apparent meniscal signal changes that are reported as abnormalities or tears, as incidental findings, often in asymptomatic knees and also when there is no radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis .11,12,14-17,21,27
    • In one study, use of MRI revealed lesions in the knee joints of approximately 90% of middle-aged and elderly people whose knee radiographs did not demonstrate any features of OA, regardless of whether they reported pain.9,11
    • MRI may even suggest the presence of a meniscal tear when there is no tear at all.8,28

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    When Should I Get A Knee Mri

    Have you experienced a recent knee injury that has made it difficult to stand, walk or run normally? Do you have chronic knee pain during regular activities? Do you frequently notice swelling around your knee joint? If so, it may be time for an MRI of the knee.

    This simple, painless imaging scan allows a radiologist to get a clear, comprehensive view of your knee and all the internal structures. The crisp and clear images of your knee joint provide diagnostic information that helps your doctor pinpoint the source of your pain and determine an appropriate treatment to provide much-needed relief. As a result, you can get back on your feet and back to life.

    In Some Cases Mri Delivers Insufficient Results

    Home MRI of my knee

    In July 2018 doctors writing in the journal Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy tried to determine the reliability and validity of preoperative magnetic resonance imaging scan for the detection of additional pathologies in patients with chronic ankle instability compared to arthroscopic findings. To do this they looked at thirty patients. What did they find in these thirty patients?

    In total, 72 additional pathologies were found arthroscopically compared to 73 lesions gathered from MRI images. . . . Chronic ankle instability is associated with a high incidence of additional pathologies. In some cases, MRI delivers insufficient results, which may lead to misinterpretation of present comorbidities. MRI is a helpful tool for preoperative evaluation, but arthroscopy remains gold standard in the diagnosis of associated lesions in patients with chronic ankle instability.

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    What Are The Limitations Of A Knee Mri

    High-quality images are assured only if you are able to remain perfectly still while the images are being recorded. If you are anxious, confused or in severe pain, you may find it difficult to lie still during imaging. Constant coughing and shaking might also interfere with the scan. A bent knee that cannot be extended is also difficult to image.

    A person who is very large may not fit into the opening of a conventional MRI machine.

    The presence of an implant or other metallic object sometimes makes it difficult to obtain clear images and patient movement can have the same effect. In some cases, metal artifact reduction imaging is performed in patients who have metallic surgical implants at the knee and require MR imaging.

    Present data show no convincing evidence that non contrast MRI harms the fetus of a pregnant woman. However, if the need for the exam is not time sensitive your doctor may delay the exam until after delivery. MRI gadolinium contrast agents are generally avoided during pregnancy except in very specific circumstances. Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of any MRI procedure with you. Doctors may perform MRI after the first trimester to assess the fetus for findings that are not fully evaluated by ultrasound.

    An MRI exam typically costs more and may take more time than other imaging exams. Talk to your insurance provider if you have concerns about the cost of MRI.

    Book An Mri Scan For Your Knee Injury

    If you are suffering from a knee injury or knee pain and require an MRI scan, then you can book an appointment at Melbourne Radiology Clinic by calling us at the clinic or email to, including your referral, if you have been provided with this. Other than MRI scan, We also offer other examinations including knee pain CT scan, X-ray for knee pain& many more healthcare imaging services in Melbourne.

    Read Also: Does Medicare Cover Knee Surgery

    What Is An Mri Of Knee With Contrast

    An MRI of knee with contrast refers to the use of a dye during the course of the test. Around 20% of all the MRI tests are with contrast. This dye is injected with the help of a needle, into the vein on the arm. Some of the common conditions where MRI of the knee with contrast may be ordered include:

    • A history of cancer or tumors
    • Recent surgery
    • Checking for inflammation or an infection
    • Evaluating the vessels of the blood

    Therefore, in case you are asked to go in for the MRI of the knee with contrast, you have the right to ask the medical health care provider the reason why the contrast needs to be used. However, before deciding to undergo an MRI of knee with or without contrasts, it is important to consider that there are a few side effects that have been associated with the dye or the contrast. Given below are some of the side effects of the MRI of knee with contrast:

    • Redness or flushing
    • Dizziness

    What Does An Mri Or X

    Do you really need that MRI?

    Before we can discuss how important it is to obtain diagnostic testing right away, first lets discuss what MRIs and X-Rays are. For the purposes of physical therapy, an X-Ray is used to check for broken bones or determine the severity of arthritis or osteoporosis. An MRI is used to assess injuries or abnormalities of the joints, such as the back and knee. These tools give your doctor a good idea of the current state of the tissues in your body and can help rule in, or rule out, what may be going on in your body. Although these diagnostic studies give us a more internal view of what is going on in someones body, it does not tell the doctor or physical therapist exactly what to do in order to help that person return to full function.

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    Should I Get An Mri Or X

    by Lauren Losi PT DPT | Sep 4, 2019 | Imaging, Low Back

    Help a Friend:

    While treating patients in the clinic, I am often asked, how we can properly diagnose and treat without seeing an MRI or X-Ray first? Although an MRI or X-Ray can be helpful when we are unsure what is going on, physical therapists are trained to perform a thorough clinical examination when you first come in for therapy which helps us determine what is wrong and how we can best treat you. Listed below are the topics that will be discussed:

  • What does an MRI or X-Ray tell us?
  • What happens during a physical therapy initial evaluation?
  • When is the proper time to undergo diagnostic testing?
  • Why Might I Need A Knee Mri Scan

    Magnetic resonance imaging of the knee is done to:

    • Check for the cause of unexplained knee pain or the knee giving out for no reason.
    • Find problems in the knee joint, such as arthritis, bone tumors or infection, or damaged cartilage, meniscus, ligaments or tendons.
    • Find out if knee arthroscopy is needed.

    MRI may also find a bone fracture when X-rays and other tests do not give a clear answer. MRI is done more commonly than other tests to check for certain bone and joint problems.

    There are no known harmful effects from the strong magnetic field used for MRI. But the magnet is very powerful.

    Reasons you may not be able to have a knee MRI scan or why the results may not be helpful include:

    • Metal devices in your leg from previous surgery. These may make the MRI pictures blurry and prevent your doctor from seeing what is wrong with your knee.
    • Pregnancy. An MRI test usually is not done during pregnancy.
    • Medical devices that use electronics, such as a pacemaker or medicine infusion pump. The MRI magnet may cause problems with these devices.
    • If you are not able to remain still during the test.
    • Obesity. A person who is very overweight may not fit into the opening of some standard MRI machines.

    The radiologist may discuss preliminary results of the MRI with you right after the test. Complete results are usually available for your doctor in 1 to 2 days. Normal results of a knee MRI scan can include:

    Abnormal results might include:

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    Youll Want To Put The Earplugs In Correctly

    The foamy earplugs-on-a-string that they give you are practically worthless. That is, unless you know how to squish em up and form them to fit your own ears.

    Heres the trick

    For one, you should dampen them first, before you squish them. Dampened earplugs aremore easily shape-able. And after theyre placed in your ears, they will expand ever-so-slightly to perfectly fit your ears! Im not kidding.

    To do this, you would either want to:

    • Keep your hands damp after leaving the bathroom/clothes changing room or
    • Ask for that wet washcloth that they give you to cover your eyes with .

    Should I Get An Mri For A Meniscus Tear

    Should I get an x-ray or MRI?

    One of the more common knee injuries is called a meniscus tear which can lead to knee pain, swelling, and your knee not working right. If you play a lot of contact sports, you may have heard of meniscus tears among other athletes. However, you can also tear a meniscus if you are lifting heavy objects. The risk of tearing a meniscus increases as you age, too. If you have twisted your knee and feel a lot of pain and discomfort afterward, your doctor may want to schedule you for a type of diagnostic imaging called an MRI to look at the knee up close and determine if there is a tear.

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    It Helps If You Keep Your Eyes Closed

    Not because of any harmful rays or anything, but for peace of mind.

    The process of getting ready putting in the earplugs lying down on the table and being rolled into the cocoon itself all happened so quickly, that I wasnt prepared for what was about to take place.

    While the technician was giving me a few last words of instruction about the MRI scan, I started rolling backwards into the cocoon itself. Since I was looking up , my very last visual was of everything closing in on me.

    Kind of like the Alice in Wonderland doors that get smaller and smaller the cocoon is shaped very wide at the outermost edge, but it gets significantly smaller and tighter the farther in you go. I didnt need that image.

    I wish Id closed my eyes sooner, because I started to feel claustrophobic at first.

    You have no choice at this point, but to replay in your head everything youve just heard:

    • Dont move.
    • Theres an intercom inside the machine, so talk loudly if you need us.
    • Dont move.
    • Its gonna be loud in there.

    This, combined with the unknown of what it was going to be like after he pushed the Go button and my final visual of being completely enclosed by thick plastic sort of became overwhelming all at the last moment.

    Such is why #7 is so important

    How To Prepare For A Knee Mri

    Preparations for an MRI vary between testing facilities. Your doctor or attending technician will give you complete instructions on how to prepare for your specific test.

    Before your MRI, your doctor will explain the test and do a complete physical and medical history. Be sure to tell them about any medication youre taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements. Mention any known allergies, too. Let them know if you have any implanted medical devices, because the test can affect them.

    Tell your doctor if youve had allergic reactions to contrast dye in the past or if youve been diagnosed with kidney problems.

    Let them know if youre pregnant, concerned you may be pregnant, or breastfeeding. MRIs performed with radioactive contrast dye arent considered safe for pregnant women. Breastfeeding mothers should stop breastfeeding for about two days after the test.

    The MRI machine is a tight, enclosed space. If youre claustrophobic or scared of small spaces, be sure to talk with your doctor about your options. They may give you a sedative to help relax. If your claustrophobia is severe, your doctor may opt for an open MRI. This type of MRI uses a machine that doesnt enclose your body.

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