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Imaging the Knee and Leg

Patients are usually positioned for radiographs according to standard protocols, so that normal patterns can be discerned and abnormalities can be more readily identified. In the case of radiographs of the knee and leg, the most frequently used standard views are:

These may be supplemented by oblique views. It is important to remember that multiple views of a given area may be required in order to determine the actual three-dimensional relationships. Comparison to films of the patient’s other knee can also be useful.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the knee allows excellent visualization of the internal soft tissues of the knee, including the menisci, articular cartilages, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

CT (computed tomography) of the knee can be used to further evaluate complex fractures and other abnormalities of bone.