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Knee MRI

Introduction to Knee Pain and Injuries:

The knee is a complex joint that is susceptible to a variety of injuries and conditions that can cause pain, swelling, instability, and limited mobility. Understanding the underlying cause of knee pain is crucial for determining the appropriate treatment approach.

Finding the Cause of Knee Pain: Is MRI the Solution?

When a patient is experiencing persistent or unexplained knee pain, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan can be a valuable diagnostic tool to help identify the underlying cause. 

While physical examination and X-rays provide important information, an MRI offers several key advantages:

  • MRI can detect soft tissue injuries, cartilage damage, ligament tears, bone abnormalities, and other issues that may not be visible on other imaging tests.
  • The detailed images produced by an MRI allow healthcare providers to make an accurate diagnosis and tailor a treatment plan specific to the patient's condition.
  • MRI is particularly good at imaging soft tissues and can distinguish between healthy and injured areas, showing even subtle injuries that might not be seen with other methods.

While an MRI is not always necessary for every case of knee pain, it can provide crucial diagnostic information when other examination and imaging findings are inconclusive. By visualizing the internal structures of the knee joint, an MRI can help guide appropriate treatment and management of the patient's condition.

Always discuss your case with your doctor to determine whether MRI is the right investigation of choice for you!

What is the Anatomy of the Knee Joint?

The knee joint is composed of the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone), and patella (kneecap), as well as various ligaments, tendons, and cartilage that work together to provide stability and facilitate movement. Understanding the complex anatomy of the knee is crucial for interpreting MRI findings.

Common Knee Injuries Diagnosed by MRI

Here are some of the most common knee injuries that an MRI can diagnose:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears: A tear in the ligament that stabilizes the knee.
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Tears: A tear in the ligament that helps maintain knee stability.
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Sprains: Stretching or tearing of the ligament on the inner side of the knee.
  • Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Sprains: Stretching or tearing of the ligament on the outer side of the knee.
  • Meniscus Tears: Tears in the cartilage cushions (menisci) of the knee.
  • Articular Cartilage Lesions: Damage to the smooth cartilage covering the ends of bones in the knee joint.
  • Bone Bruises or Fractures: Bruising or breaks in the bones of the knee.

An MRI scan provides detailed pictures of these structures in the knee, helping doctors identify the specific injury and plan the appropriate treatment.

What Does a Knee MRI Scan Show?

An MRI scan of the knee provides highly detailed images of the complex structures within the joint, including:

  • Bones (tibial and femoral condyles)
  • Patella (kneecap)
  • Ligaments
  • Meniscus (cartilage)
  • Joint capsule

An MRI can clearly visualize the extent of damage or abnormalities in the fibrous tissues and soft structures of the knee. 

Early and precise diagnosis through MRI imaging is crucial for guiding appropriate treatment and rehabilitation of knee injuries and conditions. The detailed information provided by an MRI scan empowers healthcare providers to develop an effective management plan tailored to the patient's specific needs.

How long does a knee MRI take?

The typical duration for a knee MRI scan is 30 to 60 minutes, but may take longer. 
The exact time can vary depending on factors such as:

  • The specific protocol and number of images needed
  • Whether contrast dye is used, which requires additional time for injection and imaging
  • How still the patient is able to remain during the scan, as too much movement can blur the images

The MRI technologist will monitor the patient throughout the scan and can provide earplugs or headphones to help the patient remain comfortable and still during the relatively long imaging process. 

Overall, patients should expect the knee MRI scan to take approximately 30-60 minutes, though it may be shorter or longer depending on the individual case and imaging requirements. The technologist will be able to provide a more precise estimate of the scan duration prior to the appointment.

Affordable and Accessible Knee MRI Scans with GetScanned

At GetScanned, we offer high-quality, affordable knee MRI scans in a comfortable and convenient setting. Our experienced team of radiologists and technicians is dedicated to providing accurate diagnoses and personalized care.

Schedule Your MRI Scan with GetScanned:

A knee MRI is a vital tool for accurately diagnosing various knee conditions, from ligament injuries to meniscus tears and cartilage damage. By opting for a knee MRI, you ensure a precise evaluation of your knee's health, paving the way for effective treatment and a faster recovery.

Don't wait in pain – schedule your knee MRI with GetScanned today and benefit from our fast, private service. Book now and take the first step towards better knee health!

Lorea content writter
Reviewed by
Dr. Sachin Shah
Clinical Lead
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Frequently asked questions

Do I need a GP-referral?

No prior GP-referral is required. Booking with us includes a GP phone consultation and referral. Shortly after booking you will be contacted by a GP from our team who will discuss your scan and provide a referral.

How long is an MRI scan?

MRI scans generally take a bit longer than other types of scans. Individual scans take 10-30 minutes depending on the body part being scanned, overall it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 90 minutes. You do have to lay very still for an MRI and if there is movement the scan may need to be repeated which can add some additional time.

What’s included in my booking?

With your GetScanned booking, you will receive:

  • A pre-scan phone consultation with a member of our medical team.
  • A referral for the scan.
  • Scheduling of a private MRI scan at your preferred scanning centre.
  • Access to your written report by a radiologist.
  • Access to your scan images (online and downloadable).

How much is a private MRI scan?

A private MRI scan cost varies depending on the part of the body being scanned and the location the scan is performed. Generally, a private MRI scan in the UK starts at around £350, and includes the scheduling, scan itself and results.

What’s the difference between an open and closed MRI?

Closed MRI machines are the traditional and first type of MRI. They are used more frequently because they provide higher quality images, however they aren’t ideal for certain types of scan or when the patient has limited mobility. Open or wide-bore MRI machines don’t involve lying in a tight cylinder, instead they have wider openings with more space and are therefore considered better if you suffer from claustrophobia. A standing MRI or upright MRI is a new type of open MRI that allows the patient to be in various different positions, including weight bearing positions. If you would prefer an open MRI please filter by MRI type to find an open MRI near you, but please be aware it is only available at certain locations.

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