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KNEE MRI SCAN: Are you suffering from knee pain and are in the process of having a Knee MRI?

Knee MRI Scan is organised by an orthopaedic surgeon to understand the inside of your knee so that they will be able to plan your treatment. Knee MRI Scan is a harmless test which can help your specialist to identify the cause of knee pain. A well reported MRI Scan of the knee can lead to better health outcomes by taking away the need for keyhole operation for diagnostic purposes. Examination of your knee by a GP, Physiotherapist or a specialist is still a good starting tool for diagnosis of knee pain. If the diagnosis of knee pain is clear, your specialist may not arrange an MRI scan.

The following post includes the topics as below

  1. Highlights of MRI Scan Knee
  2. Reasons for arranging MRI Scan knee
  3. Preparation for knee scan
  4. Contraindications for Knee MRI
  5. How is an MRI Scan knee performed?
  6. How and who reports an MRI Scan of the knee


Highlights of MRI Scan Knee:

  1. Test arranged by knee surgeons/General practitioners/Physiotherapists to assess the reason for knee pain.
  2. MRI Scan knee is a simple test which does not involve any harmful radiations.
  3. Knee MRI Answers available within 24-72 hours when a radiologist reports the scans.
  4. High accuracy rate in diagnosing abnormalities.


Preparation for MRI scan knee: There is no specific requirement to prepare for an MRI scan of the knee. It is always handy to dress in a comfortable fitting clothing. The clinic will provide you with specific clothing before going into the MRI scan room. Make sure that you will not have any jewellery or metal objects, clips on you.


Contraindications for the Knee MRI scan: Please remove any jewellery, watches, credit card, mobile phone, hearing aids, pins, hairpins or other metallic items you have as they will cause image artefact and also can result in injuries if taken in the MRI scanning room. The radiographer will ask you to remove all such items. MRI Scanning can cause issues in the following scenarios

  • Ligament Surgery: Most new ligament surgery implants used to fix the ligament to your shin and thigh bone (tibia and femur) are MRI compatible. If you had this operation a few decades ago, the metal used might cause some artefacts.
  • Knee replacement surgery: It is rare to have an MRI scan for a replaced knee. MRI Scan can be arranged for partial replaced knees. It is not uncommon for a specialist to ask for an MRI scan of your knee to understand if your unexplained pain is coming from the parts of the knee that are un-replaced.
  • Tibial Tubercle Transfer: This operation leaves you with some screws in your shin bone. MRI scan of the knee may cause some artefacts, but these are away from the knee and do not cause diagnostic issues.
  • Osteochondral cartilage operation: This operation should not cause any issues with image artefact.


Indications for arranging an MRI Scan Knee 

There are several reasons when your specialist may organize a Knee MRI scan. The following list is by no means complete, and if you are suffering from pain that is not responding to painkillers, you should consult your general practitioner, physiotherapist or a knee specialist. The common reasons that can be diagnosed by a Knee MRI Scan are

  • Knee pain
  • Swelling
  • Locking
  • Night pain
  • Mild or Moderate arthritis
  • After Meniscal repair- To assess the state of healing.
  • After Ligament surgery if pain/instability is ongoing.
  • Loose body
  • Sports injury
  • Infection
  • Tumours


How is an MRI Scan knee performed?

The radiographer will explain the procedure to you before you have your scan. You will be asked to change into something comfortable. You will also be asked to complete a safety questionnaire which inquires about metal objects, pacemaker, shunts, clips you may have which will make an MRI scan difficult.

You will be asked to come into the MRI scanning room, once the safety check is complete. Your position will depend on your scan type (lying or standing position). A specialised knee coil is placed around your knee. Once the position is confirmed, the radiographer will take predetermined sequence of the image. The scanner at the Bromsgrove private clinic is open and allows you to communicate with the radiographer at all times. The radiographer will advise you with regards to the length of the sequence during which you would be asked to remain static as the movement will cause image artefacts which might reduce the accuracy of the results.

If you are having an MRI scan of the knee in a standing position, the radiographer will operate the automatic and technologically significantly advanced bed mechanism to allow the scan be carried out in a standing position. A few sequences are done while you are standing. The radiographer will print your MRI scan images on a CD which will be handed over to you if your specialist has requested this. A copy of the disk also goes to the expert radiologist will report on your scan.


How and who reports the Knee MRI Scan

An MRI scan knee generates approximately 500 pictures of your knee in various positions. These images are sent to a specialist radiologist trained to interpret these type of images including MRI scan knee, CT scan knee, x-rays, ultrasound. The fees are inclusive of the report. This report is sent to your specialist to report the scan. Please do not forget to leave a fax number of your referring specialist to whom the report can be sent. Your specialist can also interpret scans and may run the CD in your presence to go through specific images and explain the abnormalities you may have. The surgeons working at the Bromsgrove Private Clinic will take the opportunity to go through the scans with yourselves to explain the problem you have in the simple and understandable language.


What are the side-effects of Knee MRI Scan

There are no specific side-effects of an MRI scan of the knee. This test does not need any radiations or drugs injected into your body. If you were in a lot of pain while you have your scan, please let the radiographer know.


What does the scanner at the Bromsgrove Private Clinic look like?

The MRI scanner at the Bromsgrove private clinic is extremely advanced and allows for functional MRI scan knee images. The KNEE MRI scan images are accurate, and your specialist and radiologist would be able to assess these and come to a conclusion with regards to the reasoning why you are suffering from knee pain so that appropriate treatment is started. The scanner at the Bromsgrove private clinic is open and very suitable for patients who have anxiety enclosed in confined spaces. Our MRI scanner does not have a tunnel into which you would need to lie down thereby reducing claustrophobic. The MRI scanner also allows patients to stand in the scanner which is particularly useful for knee and back scans.


What is a Knee MRI Scan experience like?

Having an MRI scan is not a painful or uncomfortable experience particularly in the MRI scanner at the Bromsgrove private clinic. The environment in the MRI scanning room is cool and comfortable. You will not require any injections or medications before your scan. The scan would take anything between 30 to 60 minutes. If you are having a scan immediately after an injury, it may be difficult for you to lie back while you are having a scan. The scanner at the Bromsgrove private clinic has capabilities of completing the scan in approximately 30 minutes if this is required.


What are the benefits of Knee MRI Scan

An MRI scan of your knee is a non-invasive and pain-free test. It helps your specialist diagnose and detect abnormalities that he may wish to conform. These issues could relate to arthritis or a sporting injury. The MRI scan has an ability to detect minor or micro fractures. MRI scan is not recommended in pregnant women.


Bakers Cyst


Bone Oedema


Abnormalities detected on an MRI Scan of the knee: If your scan has technical jargon you can understand it by the description below.

  • Clinical History: This is the detail included in the Knee MRI Scan request form. It will allow the reporting radiologist (specialist who reports the scans) to relate the images to your knee suffering
  • Date of the Scan: This is the date of your scan.
  • Date of report: This is the date when the specialist has dictated and typed the Knee MRI report.
  • Sequences: This term related includes references like T1, T2, Sag, Cor, Pdfatsat. These descriptions relate to the specific techniques used for scanning the knee. Every sequence will have a speciality which will show a specific normal or abnormal tissue.
  • Findings: This is the most important sections which will have the way your knee is on the inside. The following terms are
    • ACL- Anterior Cruciate Ligament
    • MLC- Medial Collateral Ligament
    • PCL-Posterior Cruciate Ligament
    • MM- Medial Meniscus (soft shock absorbing cartilage)
    • LM-Lateral Meniscus (soft shock absorbing cartilage)
    • Degenerative changes- Wear and tear changes
    • Arthritis- Damage to the surface of the joint
    • Effusion- Swelling in the knee
    • Synovitis- Joint line swelling
  • Conclusion: This is the summary of the findings of the knee MRI scan and very commonly used by the orthopaedic specialist to base their decision making when planning your treatment.