The first response to a knee injury is to see a health professional who will diagnose the nature of the injury. There are a number of scans that a doctor may order to help determine the extent and type of the injury. The risks associated with these various types of scans are minimal.
Types of Scans for Knee Injuries
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce clear images, such as of the ligaments, tissues, and muscles surrounding your knee. There is no pain involved with the process.
Many orthopedists have an ultrasound machine in their offices. A technician administers the test by guiding an instrument over the knee. Images are projected onto a computer screen, and still shots of the images are taken.
Unlike a CT scan, an ultrasound doesn’t require a shot of dye to enhance images. An ultrasound can be done as an outpatient procedure, but it is of course also provided to patients who are in a hospital.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans produce images using a magnetic field and radio waves. The MRI machine makes strange, interesting sounds while it takes the scans, so that is normal. Sometimes the sounds are very loud, but they are not loud enough to cause any harm to your hearing.
During an MRI, you will lie flat on a comfortable table-type bed. The technician will move into another room where they can view the scans that are being taken; your technician will be able to communicate with you fully during the procedure.
If you feel yourself getting claustrophobic or have any issues, your technician can slide you out of the machine to give you a break if necessary. It’s a good idea to close your eyes before entering the MRI machine, and to keep them closed during the entire scan. Imagine yourself simply lying in your own bed.
X-rays are a relatively comfortable and fast scanning procedure, but they do utilize electromagnetic radiation. Extended exposure to radiation is dangerous, however only small doses of radiation are emitted during an x-ray – and it is similar to the radiation that occurs in the environment over a period of days.
During an X-ray, the patient is partially covered with a lead apron to help protect certain parts of their body from radiation. X-rays are primarily utilized to discover if a bone is broken.
What Should I Do About My Knee Injury?
Diagnosing the exact cause of knee pain would be nearly impossible without the technology that scans provide. An accurate and detailed assessment is made by the doctor, which will result in a proper diagnosis and treatment of the issue.
Advanced Bone & Joint offers the expertise, technology, and outstanding service expected by our clients. Make an appointment today by calling (636) 229-4222 or by filling out our easy-to-use online form. We look forward to serving you.