When you injure your knee, all you know at first is that something is wrong. An orthopedic evaluation quickly sheds some light on your injury – what caused it, which tissue is inured – giving your doctor a diagnosis that can be used to plan your treatment.
Your doctor may ask you a few questions about your injury and symptoms to begin to reach a diagnosis. Your goals for returning to activity help indicate which treatment plan might work best for you.
A hands-on exam comes next. It can help your doctor pinpoint even better the location of your problem. Checking for abnormal motion in your knee and for swelling or tenderness are all part of this exam.
A test or two may be necessary to confirm your diagnosis and to rule out other problems. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) uses a large magnet and an electric field to provide an internal view of your knee’s soft tissues. X-rays show views of bones, which makes it possible to see problems like fractures. Arthrograms, outline soft tissues with dye, helping to pinpoint tears.