MRI Not Always Better Than Regular X Rays For Knee Pain Evaluation Interview with:


Dr. Muyibat Adelani

Muyibat Adelani, MD
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Washington University
St. Louis What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In our practice, we noticed that more patients are coming in already having had MRIs. We wanted to know how many people actually had weight-bearing knee x-rays before the MRI. We found that only a quarter of patients had weight-bearing x-rays before the MRI. We found that half of the MRIs obtained prior to referral to an orthopaedic surgeon did not contribute to the patient’s treatment. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Readers should take away the following points:
1) MRI is not necessarily always better than regular x-rays in evaluating the knee and
2) It is important to obtain regular standing x-rays first, in order to evaluate for arthritis and for the potential usefulness of an MRI. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research as a result of this study could focus on the cost-effectiveness of delaying MRI until after referral to an orthopedic surgeon. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Muyibat A. Adelani, Nathan A. Mall, Robert H. Brophy, Mark E. Halstead, Matthew V. Smith, Rick W. Wright. The Use of MRI in Evaluating Knee Pain in Patients Aged 40 Years and Older. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2016; 24 (9): 653 DOI: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-15-00681

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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