MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer to generate images of the inside structure of the body. Knee MRI is performed to look at your knee and the area surrounding the knee. It is done to diagnose pain, swelling, weakness, or bleeding in or around the joints.
It provides a detailed image of the knee area such as tendons, muscles, blood vessels, cartilage, bones, and ligaments. MRI is preferred over other tests as it provides high-quality images and better contrast. The doctor may ask you to get an MRI Arthrogram done to get a clearer view of the structure of the joints.
Why is a knee MRI performed?
MRI of the knee is performed in case you have any abnormalities in your knee joint. It is done in various other conditions such as –
Fracture in the bone
Infection and tumor
Damaged tendons, cartilage, or ligaments
Reduced knee joint motion
Implanted medical devices related problems
Fluid gets built up in the knee
Knee cap injury
Pain post knee surgery
Weakness, swelling, pain, or bleeding in or around the knee joint
Doctors may recommend getting an X-Ray along with Knee MRI to get a more detailed view. They may ask you to get an MRI done before performing a knee surgery or knee arthroscopy.
What are the benefits?
It is a non-invasive method and involves no radiation.
It helps detect abnormalities that are hindered by the bone.
Determining which patient requires knee surgery becomes easy.
It provides detailed information about a bone fracture as compared to X-Ray and other imaging tests.
A non-invasive method to diagnose blood vessels related problems.
It can diagnose a broad range of problems like abnormalities in the bone, tendon, cartilage, ligaments, etc.
What are the risks involved?
There is a risk of using sedation too much.
The magnetic field may cause the implanted devices to malfunction.
It possesses no risk if proper safety guidelines are followed.
There is a very less chance of an allergic reaction.
A very small amount of gadolinium may remain in the body, especially the brain.
A complication related to gadolinium contrast injection i.e. nephrogenic systemic fibrosis may occur.
What are the limitations?
The high-quality images are possible only if you lay still during the test.
A person who is large in size may not be able to fit properly.
It may be difficult to capture an image if your knee is bent and cannot be extended.
Constant coughing and shaking may create difficulty in capturing the image.
Implanted medical devices may cause difficulty in obtaining a clear image.
It is time taking and expensive as compared to other imaging tests.
What happens after a Knee MRI?
MRI images are black and white. The white color in the image indicates abnormalities. Doctors review the result, explain the problem and accordingly carry on the next steps for treatment.