Chronic pain statistics are alarming. According to the Institute of Medicine, more than 100 million Americans suffer with chronic pain, carrying an estimated price tag of $600 billion a year in medical care and lost productivity. According to recent studies and reports, knee pain is a common cause of chronic pain and one third of Americans will suffer with knee pain at some point in their lifetime.
Knee pain can range from mild to severe, and develop slowly over time or occur suddenly, based upon many factors – including trauma, overuse or repetitive motion, muscular or structural imbalances, excess weight, medical condition, aging, etc.
Whether you are experiencing acute or chronic knee pain, seek care. In addition to pain, it is important to be evaluated if:
- you are unable to put weight on the knee
- there is redness or swelling
- there is limited mobility
- the knee locks, gives away or if there is painful clicking
Along with a physical examination and symptoms experienced, a doctor may recommend testing to assist with a diagnosis or specialized treatment. An MRI, is a powerful diagnostic tool utilized to evaluate various conditions and injuries of the knee:
- Meniscus Tears: The knee has two C-shaped pieces of cartilage, which act as a shock absorber between the bones (shinbone and thighbone or menisci) and stabilizes the knee joint. An MRI takes detailed pictures of cartilage and ligaments to determine if a tear has occurred or if there are any abnormalities. Powerful twisting or rotating the knee, kneeling, heavy lifting, obesity, arthritis and aging are often contributing factors to a meniscus tear.
- Ligament Injuries: Knee ligaments are tough, flexible bands of fibrous tissue, which connect bones, helping to support and strengthen the joint. The knee has four major ligaments that are susceptible to becoming injured – Anterior Cruciate Ligament, which is in the center of the knee (ACL – connects the thigh bone to the shin bone), Posterior Cruciate Ligament – in the back of the knee (PCL – connects the thigh bone to the shin bone), Lateral Collateral Ligament – in the outer part of the knee (LCL – connects the thigh bone to the fibula) and Medial Collateral Ligament – in the inner knee (MDL – connects the thigh bone to the shin bone). The ACL is the most common ligament injured. Ligament injuries may result due to a fall – from a trauma or accident, sports/activities, or a sudden twisting of the knee.
- Tendon Issues: A tendon is a strong, band of fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone. Two important tendons in the knee are the quadriceps tendon, which connect the quadriceps muscles (front of the thigh) to the patella, and the patellar tendon, which stretches from the patella to the shinbone. Many tendon injuries occur near the joint and may result from wear and tear (sports, occupation), trauma or aging. Injuries may include chronic tendonitis or tendon ruptures.
If you are suffering with knee pain or discomfort, your doctor may recommend an MRI, which can provide more detailed images than having X-rays or a CT scan, and is radiation-free. At Dynamic Medical Imaging in Union, NJ we offer an Upright MRI, the only Upright MRI in the area, to provide vital diagnostic testing – accurately and comfortably. Diagnostic benefits of an Upright MRI include the ability to see more pathology than with recumbent, lying down scanners.
Dynamic Medical Imaging, leading experts in personal injury imaging, offers 3D MRI Rendering – the creation of a 3 dimensional digital model from standardized MRI study. This is accomplished by using the latest technology to ‘stack’ the highly detailed, thin, slice cross-sectional images from the MRI to generate the 3D model. Higher resolution, crisp images, additional angles, and details provide vital information for treatment.