Knee pain can emanate from injury, aging, and constant strain on the knee. A qualified knee surgeon establishes the root source of the pain with the appropriate diagnostic tests. Here are some tests that could be used to diagnose the cause of knee pain:
X-rays are effective in visualizing bones and detecting bone-related problems in the knee. They can show the kind, location, and severity of bone structures. X-rays also help diagnose different types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
A knee surgeon can use X-rays to check joint alignment and stability responsible for dislocations and subluxations. This diagnostic tool helps identify malignant and benign bone tumors within the knee. If a patient has bone infections, X-rays can show sections with damage or abnormalities.
Computed Tomography Scans
Computed tomography (CT) scans provide a more detailed view of the fractures when they are not apparent on the X-rays. If your surgeon suspects a tumor within the knee joint or bone, the expert can use a CT scan to check the extent and characteristics of the tumor. This tool can offer three-dimensional images of the knee joint and surrounding structures for proper diagnosis and treatment.
During pre-operative planning, CT scans allow for accurate measurement of bone dimensions and alignment. The details help surgeons select the appropriate implant size and enhance proper alignment during knee replacement surgery. CT scans can also assess the quality of the bone in the knee to determine if a patient requires bone grafts during surgery.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Another test for knee pain is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which helps detect issues in the soft tissue. MRIs identify problems within the ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscles that contribute to knee inflammation and aches. An MRI is a radiation-free, non-invasive imaging method that is suitable for assessing knee pain.
This diagnostic test detects the presence of cysts within the knee joint, including Baker’s cysts, which can develop due to existing knee conditions. An MRI can also evaluate the state of the muscles around the knee joint and detect muscle tears or other problems. The test can detect knee cartilage damage, defects, or degeneration, which cause osteoarthritis.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic tool for determining the cause of knee pain. An experienced surgeon inserts an arthroscope into the joint to visualize the structures within the knee. The expert numbs the area within the knee to manage discomfort.
This procedure identifies any issues with the cartilage, ligaments, tendons, synovial lining, and meniscus. With diagnostic arthroscopy, your surgeon can detect a torn ligament, damaged cartilage, a meniscus tear, or signs of inflammation. Patients can also receive a quicker and more accurate diagnosis, which can lead to more personalized treatment planning.
Book a Consultation With a Qualified Knee Surgeon
If your knee pain intensifies and affects your routine, seeking treatment can be a good option. A surgeon uses tests like MRIs, CT scans, arthroscopy, and X-rays to determine what’s causing the knee pain. After a proper diagnosis, a certified surgeon can recommend the right treatment. Schedule a consultation today with an experienced orthopedic surgeon.