A knee MRI uses magnetic and radio waves to take images of the knee from the inside. A knee MRI specifically looks into your knee and the surrounding areas. It allows your doctor to see the joints of your knee that might have been injured due to some injury or due to wear and tear.
The MRI for knee provides images for various sections of the knees; for example, blood vessels, tendons, cartilage, and bones. Your doctor may also use a contrast dye to have a clear and enhanced image for a better view of the knee structure.
Causes of knee MRI
There could be various causes if your doctor has suggested you to undergo a knee MRI. These reasons are mentioned below:
- Decreased motion of knee joint
- Infection in knee joint
- Sports-related injury
Your doctor might also perform knee arthroscopy. It is a minor surgical procedure undertaken by making a small incision on the knee and inserting a small camera for investigating the knee problem.
How is a knee MRI performed?
MRI scan is considered the safest procedure for everyone. As it does not involve the use of radiation, it is safe to use with children and pregnant women as well.
When you will go to the hospital for knee MRI, you will be asked to change into the hospital gown and remove all jewelry and body piercings. If your doctor has planned to give you a contrast dye before the scan, an IV will be inserted into your arm to inject the dye into your blood stream. The medical staff will help you lie-down straight on a flat table. You are expected to lay down straight and still. The center of the machine is open and from there the flat table will slide in and out of the machine.
The rounded part of the machine will send magnetic waves and this will help to take pictures of your affected knee.
The medical staff may use pillows or straps to make your position comfortable during the test so that clear images of your knee can be acquired.
Listen to the instructions given to you by the technician very carefully, they may also give you earplugs so that you may not get disturbed by the thumping sound of the machine and can remain calm and comfortable.
The process will take about 30 minutes or more. After that, you are free to change your clothes and go about your day.
Results and interpretation
MRI images are black and white in color and it requires a lot of knowledge, years of practice and experience to read and interpret the images. Abnormalities are usually shown as white spots in the images. The doctors and radiologists will interpret the MRI report and will call you for the next procedure. Depending on your results of the MRI, your doctor will help you in deciding which intervention methods would be suitable for you.