Kneedy Tests

Doctors have many tools to check out knees

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(HealthDayNews) -- If you experience pain in your knees, your doctor might any of a battery of tests to diagnose the problem. In addition to a standard X-ray, CT scan, bone scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and arthroscopy are all possibilities.

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases explains the differences.

  • A CT scan (computerized axial tomography) takes pictures of the knee for fractions of a second from different angles. Unlike regular X-rays, a CT scan can show soft tissues like cartilage and ligaments.
  • A bone scan uses radioactive material injected into the patient's bloodstream that is tracked as it flows to the bone, offering a look at possible abnormalities in cell activity.
  • An MRI uses a powerful magnet to create pictures of sections of the knee. This test is particularly useful in detecting soft-tissue injuries.
  • Arthroscopy uses a lighted optical tube inserted into the knee. A doctor moves the scope inside the knee looking for problems. The scope may be used to help fix any damage found.

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