Hospitals, clinics, and urgent care centers all across the United States are now seeing a significant rise in cases of Runner’s Knee—a condition that starts out as a minor nuisance but boils over to a full-fledged problem.
Alternatively known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), this particular knee condition has become one of the most common issues affecting many Americans today. In fact, the rise in such cases has inadvertently led to another increase in the need for proper diagnostic imaging in healthcare settings. This is why Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners have become more essential than ever.
What is Runner’s Knee?
Before we talk about how effective MRIs are when it comes to dealing with and treating any case of Runner’s Knee that comes in your emergency room, let’s first understand what the condition is.
Commonly described as a pain in the front of the knee or around the kneecap, PFPS presents a significant handicap that hinders a person’s ability to use parts affected by this condition. Compared to other similar conditions, this particular condition is characterized by the presence of imbalances in the patellar tracking during the extension and flexion of the knee joint!
In terms of causes, it’s worth noting that there are no specific reasons or catalysts for Runner’s Knee, which is why it’s only ideal for focusing on treatment. However, this same condition is linked to specific problems in movement or persistent issues, such as:
- Repetitive stress on the knee joint
- Muscle imbalances
- Prior injuries
Diagnosing the condition with a capable diagnostic imaging solution
When it comes to dealing with a case of Runner’s Knee that any of your professionals receive during their shifts, effective treatment begins with a thorough inspection and a proper diagnosis.
Typically, the process of identifying, inspecting, and verifying a PFPS case begins with a thorough physical examination and postural assessments. However, such methods can only achieve so much in terms of analysis until they’re thoroughly diagnosed by a medical imaging solution, which is where MRI scanners come in.
Why MRI scanners are the tool for the job
Compared to other available tools in your clinic or hospital, MRI scanners are best for diagnosing PFPS because it is the standard scanning procedure for non-invasively evaluating injuries to the knee.
The main reason medical professionals prioritize using this piece of equipment is that it delivers a perfect soft-tissue contrast and high spatial resolution that provide a much clearer point of view for analyzing an injury. Through the multiple images generated on an MRI scanner, doctors have been able to work with a detailed depiction of the anatomy, which aids in creating better treatment plans for over 50 percent of knee trauma cases.
A specialized tool for the job
Although traditional MRIs were already sufficient in thoroughly diagnosing any suspected case of Runner’s Knee, specialized knee MRIs help provide a much more effective and accurate experience.
Compared to conventional machines, knee-specific tools differ because they’re built in a way to ensure a scan is performed in a standard supine position where no weight-bearing pressure is put on the joint. This seemingly simple tweak makes for a desirable set of conditions because it irons out a problem with closed-tunnel standard MRI machines that makes movement difficult. Additionally, this same tweak leads to better results and treatment experiences because they’re paired with magnets positioned to allow imaging in weight-bearing positions like upright, sitting, or bending!
Dealing with and treating Runner’s Knee can be a rather complex experience because of the various factors involved in the whole process. However, the use of an MRI scanner significantly eases things up. Through the help of a standard or knee-specific scanner, you’ll be able to achieve much more in handling the needs of any patient that comes forward with related symptoms that need to be treated!
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