Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of the body. It is a non-invasive and painless procedure that can be used to examine the joints, including the knee, and can help to diagnose a wide range of conditions.
An MRI scan of a joint, such as the knee, can provide detailed images of the bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the joint, as well as the surrounding soft tissue. This can help to identify issues such as:
Osteoarthritis: degeneration of the cartilage in the joint
Rheumatoid arthritis: inflammation of the joint
Meniscal tears: tears in the cartilage that cushion the knee joint
Ligament or tendon tears: tears in the structures that hold the joint together
Tumors or cysts: abnormal growths in the joint
Fractures: breaks in the bones of the joint
During an MRI scan, the patient will lie on a table that is moved into the center of a large, cylindrical scanner. The scanner uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of the body. The patient may need to wear a special gown or clothing that does not contain metal, and may be asked to remove any jewelry or other metal objects. Some patients may receive a contrast agent injection to enhance the images.
An MRI scan is usually a safe and painless procedure, however, some people may experience a feeling of claustrophobia or anxiety while inside the scanner. It is also not recommended for people with certain types of metal implants, such as pacemakers, as the magnetic field may interfere with their operation.