Diagnosing knee problems can be complicated, in part because of the large number of possible causes of knee pain. Patients are not always able to pinpoint the exact location of their pain, and injuries may not be clearly visible on imaging tests. In some situations, a physical examination and the information you provide are sufficient. But most diagnoses require at least an x-ray, and in some cases the doctor may recommend more advanced imaging and laboratory tests to determine the cause and extent of damage. But be aware that even expensive tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may not be conclusive or even useful. While MRI may reveal an abnormality, it may not be the source of the pain. Studies show that MRI can be too sensitive and often reveals abnormalities in patients who have no pain.
John R Ehteshami, MD
Specialty: Orthopedic Surgery
Location and Office HoursPhoenix Orthopaedic Consultants
5605 W Eugie
Glendale, AZ 85304
- BC/BS of Arizona-HMO Arizona
- CIGNA HealthCare
- United Healthcare
- Arrowhead Hospital
- Banner Thunderbird Medical Center
Why is it hard to diagnose knee problems?
Scott Martin, Orthopedic Surgery, answered
What is a sports injury?
Jennifer Baima, MD, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered on behalf of Brigham and Women's HospitalThe most widely recognized sports injuries occur in an instant, when an athlete absorbs an unexpected blow. Most people do not realize that sports injuries, such as tendinopathy, also can occur from repetitive use during running, jumping, lifting weights and sports. While it is the acute injury that gets most of the attention, being aware of common injury patterns will help to prolong an athlete’s ability to enjoy playing sports at any age. For example, the most common sports injury is an ankle sprain. Often, this turns into a vicious cycle when ankle ligaments are stretched out and become too loose to work and hold the ankle joint in the right position for running. But with the proper care and treatment, an athlete’s performance will not suffer.
How can I keep my knees healthy?
RealAge answeredHere are a few of the more tried-and-true methods for keeping knees healthy:
See all Joint Health questions
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Excess pounds raise your risk of knee arthritis.
- Play it safe. A knee injury will triple your risk of knee osteoarthritis. When you exercise, take proper precautions to avoid getting hurt.
- Strengthen your quads. Weak quadriceps muscles are associated with knee arthritis, so work them out regularly, along with your hamstrings and all of your other leg muscles.