The knee is one of our most important joints, but it is also among the most fragile. Injuries, exercise, and everyday wear and tear can cause knee pain. In many cases, an MRI can help to diagnose knee pain and inform plans for treatment. Learn when you should consider getting a knee MRI and how to schedule an affordable MRI procedure — no insurance needed.
What Can a Knee MRI Show?
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a special type of imaging that allows a computer to take a detailed picture of the inside of your knee joint. An MRI is very different from an X-ray, which involves the use of radiation to take pictures of the bones. While X-rays may be helpful to diagnose a bone fracture, they cannot provide any information about soft tissues within your knee.
In contrast, an MRI machine uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to take a detailed picture of your knee. An MRI is non-invasive, safe for most people, and completely pain-free. During the test, you will lie on a table as your body is slid partially into a large tube. The MRI machine makes loud noises during the scan, but headphones & music are offered to you during your scan to make you more comfortable. Most knee MRI scans take about 30 minutes, you will leave your appointment with a disc containing the MRI images, and a written report by a Board-Certified Radiologist will be sent to you or your physician the following business day. This test allows your doctor to see a range of structures within your knee, including:
- Cartilage, like the pad that forms a cushion between your knee bones
- Tendons and ligaments that connect your bones and muscles
- Important blood vessels
A doctor can use this information to identify common knee problems and recommend treatments that will help you most.
When to Consider Getting an MRI
It can be confusing to decide whether you need to get an MRI. Sometimes, your doctor may recommend that you get an MRI to determine the source of knee pain or other problems. In other cases, you may want to get an MRI to diagnose a knee issue even if you don’t have insurance or a referral from a doctor. An MRI may be useful for the following situations:
- You had a fall or injury that affected your knee
- Persistent knee pain that isn’t getting better with time and rest
- Unexplained swelling or inflammation of the knee
- Damage from arthritis
- You think you broke a bone, but the X-ray looked normal
- Pain when twisting or bending your knee
- Infections affecting the knee
- Monitoring progress and recovery after a knee surgery
- Dead bone tissue
- Build up of fluid in the knee joint
- Decreased motion of the knee joint
- A popping sensation or feeling that your knee will give out on you
- You just feel like something is “off” in your knee
Knee pain varies based on the underlying problem. It can be sharp and stabbing, or chronic and throbbing. In some cases, you may only feel pain or discomfort with specific movements. All of these may be good reasons to get a knee MRI scan. Since there can be long wait times to see orthopedic specialists, it may be smart to get an affordable MRI scan to diagnose the problem before spending money on a visit to a specialist.
How to Get a Knee MRI
When faced with knee pain, many people assume they need to go to a hospital or large medical center to get a knee MRI. That is simply not true. Express MRI is a leading provider of knee MRI scans in the greater Atlanta area. We offer high-quality MRIs to anyone who needs them. We can help you if you are in one of the following situations:
- You do not have a referral from a doctor for a knee MRI. Even if you do not have a referral, we will perform the MRI and get you the results you need.
- You don’t have health insurance. Lack of insurance should not be a barrier to getting medical care. We offer MRI scans with no insurance needed.
- You have a high deductible insurance plan, and don’t want to come out of pocket significantly for a knee MRI scan at a hospital. Hospitals often charge big money for MRI scans. Express MRI offers high-quality knee MRI scans for as little as $499.
If you need an MRI scan, contact us today to learn how we can help.