Magnetic resonance imaging of the knee

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7356.115 (Published 20 July 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:115

Is accurate and helps in making therapeutic decisions

  1. Eugene G McNally, consultant musculoskeletal radiologist (eugene.mcnally@radiology.ox.ac.uk)
  1. Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford OX3 7LE

    Magnetic resonance imaging has had an enormous impact on musculoskeletal imaging and in this area the knee is the most frequently imaged joint. The steadily increasing availability of magnetic resonance imaging is moving the investigation from the realms of the last resort of the hospital specialist to part of the diagnostic evaluation by the general practitioner.

    Magnetic resonance imaging of the knee is most commonly indicated in patients with suspected injuries of the menisci and cruciate ligaments. Plain radiographs have little value unless there has been an injury due to direct impact. In teaching centres where dedicated musculoskeletal radiologists report on images, diagnostic accuracy of 90% can be achieved for damage to the medial meniscus and anterior cruciate ligaments, slightly less for the lateral meniscus and slightly more for the posterior cruciate ligament.1-6

    The contribution that this level of accuracy can make to therapeutic decisions has been shown …

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