X-rays and MRIs are common tests in orthopaedic surgery. Why do we obtain x-rays, and when do we need an MRI to make a diagnosis? In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I explain the role of each for one of the more common problems orthopaedic surgeons see – knee osteoarthritis.
Do you often see an MRI and x-ray contradict each other? For instance, a patient that presents with lateral knee pain has an MRI that shows severe cartilage degeneration of the lateral compartment, but the X-rays still show a gap. How does a physician go about figuring which one is correct?
X-rays just show bone, but they don’t show soft tissue structures like the meniscus, articular cartilage, tendons and ligaments. If performed in certain ways, x-rays can demonstrate arthritis changes. In this video, I explain why x-rays and MRIs can show what appear to be conflicting results.
Do you have knee arthritis? Did your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon order x-rays or an MRI? Share your experience below!
Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not discuss specific medical information by email, online, on my show, or in the comments at the end of these posts. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.