An MRI may be used later to diagnose knee problems. But many knee problems are accurately diagnosed by X-ray and this exam is the first step in the usual course of diagnosing a knee problem.
Your doctor may order a knee X-ray if they suspect the following:
Bone density: X-rays aren't adequate for evaluating bone quality. A
bone density test
is required for that, but it can detect abnormalities (e.g., certain bone disorders, bone thinning).
Early arthritis signs
Injury/fracture: X-rays show evidence of trauma to the bone, including fractures. Common fractures seen on knee X-rays include
tibial plateau fractures and