MRI of the Knee: What to Expect and How to Prepare

An MRI of the knee can reveal valuable information to a trained professional. Accidents, sports injuries, arthritis, or simple knee pain can warrant a doctor ordering a such a scan. MRIs are perfectly safe, and unlike X-rays and CT scans, they don’t use radiation. In fact, anxiety in anticipation of the scan can be the scariest part of the process; that’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate your MRI with comfort and confidence.

How to Prepare for an MRI of the Knee

There isn’t much that patients need to do to prepare for a knee MRI. Dress comfortably, as you’ll likely need to change into a hospital gown. This is done to ensure that no metal enters the MRI scanner, which creates strong magnetic fields to make an image. If you don’t feel comfortable changing into hospital attire, you can wear cotton clothing without zippers, buttons, or other metal parts.

Arrive a few minutes early to complete paperwork. You’ll need a full list of any medications you take as well as any allergies you are aware of. If you have metal screws in your knee or any other metal implanted in your body, note this on the paperwork (which will address these questions). If you are or might be pregnant or if you have an intrauterine device, you may not be able to have an MRI.

Lastly, if you have claustrophobia, talk to your doctor or the imaging location ahead of time. There are multiple options to reduce anxiety including medication, headphones with soothing music, and open MRIs. Check with your imaging facility to learn what options are available.

What to Expect During the Scan of Your Knee

Once you change into a gown, an MRI technologist will help you lie on a table. Feel free to ask for a pillow or blanket to be more comfortable. MRIs vary in length, but you’ll likely be in the machine for around a half an hour. Staying still is crucial, so make sure you are comfortable.

Once you are settled on the table, the technologist will slide you into the MRI bore where the imaging occurs. Even though the machine is only scanning your knee, you’ll need to fully enter the machine. During the scan, you may hear a loud, knocking noise — don’t worry, that’s just the vibration of metal coils which is necessary for the imaging. Earplugs or headphones may be available if you are sensitive to loud noises.

How to Schedule a Convenient, Affordable MRI of the Knee

If your doctor requests an MRI of your knee, don’t forget to shop around for a good price. Our prices start at only $249, and you can take home a free CD of images from the MRI scan of your knee.

We can help you find an accredited, fully-licensed facility and prepare for a simple examination all at an affordable price. Call at 888-322-7785 to find an imaging location near you.