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How do we diagnose your Knee Problems?

History: We talk to you and ask you to tell us to the best of your recollection as to what happened. How did you injure your knee and what did you do following the injury?

Physical Examination: We then examine your knee and compare the result of our examination to the examination of your opposite knee.

Radiography: We will obtain the necessary x-rays or review your X-rays which may have been taken elsewhere.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI): At times we may suggest obtaining an MRI which will give us added information about your knee injury which may not be possible with only plain X-rays. In this technique images will be obtained utilizing a large magnet, some radio waves and a computer. MRI does not use X-rays and as a result is known not to be harmful. There are occasions that MRI should not be taken such as situations where individual has a pacemaker, other implanted stimulatory devices or those with certain metal implants. It is also not advisable for pregnant women to have an MRI in spite of the fact that there is no evidence that a hazard exists. You should tell your physicians if you have any metal implants, pacemaker, braces, bridges or any implanted stimulatory devices.

Bone Scan (Nuclear Medicine Bone Imaging): In this test small amounts of radioactive substances (tracers) is injected intravenously, and bone images then are taken by a Gamma camera. There is usually a delay between injection of the tracer and obtaining the images which may be up to four hours. Bone scans are used to detect neoplasms/tumors, fractures, metastatic disease, arthritis, osteoporosis and infections. Contact us if you need further detail.

Arthrogram: In this technique a radiopaque solution is injected into the knee joint and then some images (x-rays) will be taken. With the availability of MRI this technique is very rarely used for diagnosis of knee conditions.

Arthrocentesis: In this procedure a needle is placed into the knee joint under local anesthesia and fluid from the joint is aspirated and is sent for laboratory studies.
Diagnostic arthroscopy: Under appropriate level of anesthesia an arthroscope is inserted into the knee joint and structures within the joint is visualized under direct visualization. For detailed information about this technique or receiving brochure please contact us at (703) 641-KNEE.

Tissue biopsy: Utilizing arthroscopy a tissue sample (biopsy) can be obtained for laboratory testing.