Imaging

The standard radiographic evaluation of the knee includes frontal, lateral, and axial (sunrise) views of the knee. The axial view is usually obtained in 30 degrees of flexion. Computed tomography (CT) and MRI are also commonly used to evaluate anterior knee pain, especially in complex or refractory cases. Both of these modalities can be performed using standard protocols. CT is useful for osseous evaluation, such as in trauma or in some cases of possible ma-lalignment. MRI is a more powerful modality, as it can diagnose cartilage and soft tissue abnormalities to greater effect than CT or radiography. Both CT and MRI can be used in dynamic modes, which can be useful for tracking abnormalities of the patella. Nuclear scinitigraphy is somewhat limited in its usefulness for anterior knee pain, however it can have a role, especially in cases of occult fracture and tumors.

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