• Radiologic Technology News

Study: Radiography Beats MR for Knee Pain

Sep 23, 2016

For patients with knee pain, a simple radiograph is often the best diagnostic tool, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The study evaluated 100 magnetic resonance images of knees from patients age 40 and up and found the most common diagnoses were osteoarthritis and meniscus tears. Only half of the MR images obtained prior to meeting with an orthopaedic surgeon actually contributed to a patient's diagnosis and treatment for osteoarthritis.

"If an x-ray shows that a person has significant arthritis, the MRI findings—like a meniscus tear—are less important because the amount of arthritis often dictates the treatment,” said lead author Muyibat Adelani, M.D., in a news release. “Therefore, patients should always get a standing x-ray before getting an MRI to screen for knee pain in patients older than 40."

Nearly 1 in 17 people visit doctors' offices each year for knee pain from “wear and tear” of the joints or osteoarthritis, according to the news release.

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