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How are X-rays, CT scans, and other tests used to diagnose knee pain?

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Depending on your particular history and exam, the doctor may suggest X-rays of the knee. X-rays show fractures (broken bones) and dislocations of bones in the knee as well as arthritis and abnormally large or small joint spaces. Rarely, the doctor may order a CT scan (a 3-dimensional X-ray) of the knee to precisely define a fracture or deformity. Both X-rays and CT scans are excellent for diagnosing fractures. They both are also poor, however, at evaluating soft tissue structures of the knee, such as ligaments, tendons, and the menisci.

From: Knee Pain Overview WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

Bauman A. Runner's World. 2000. Hart L. "Knee Pain." Woman's Day. 2001. Lally S. "End Knee Pain Forever." Men's Health. 1990. Levy AM, Fuerst ML. . New York: John Wiley & Sons; 1993. Roberts DM, Stallard TC.   . Feb 2000. Tintinalli JE, Kellen GD, Staphczynksi JS. . McGraw-Hill; 2000.




Sports Injury Handbook: Professional Advice for Amateur AthletesEmerg Med Clin North AmEmergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on May 16, 2019

SOURCES: 

Bauman A. Runner's World. 2000. Hart L. "Knee Pain." Woman's Day. 2001. Lally S. "End Knee Pain Forever." Men's Health. 1990. Levy AM, Fuerst ML. . New York: John Wiley & Sons; 1993. Roberts DM, Stallard TC.   . Feb 2000. Tintinalli JE, Kellen GD, Staphczynksi JS. . McGraw-Hill; 2000.




Sports Injury Handbook: Professional Advice for Amateur AthletesEmerg Med Clin North AmEmergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on May 16, 2019

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How is an MRI used to diagnose knee pain?

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