Ask The Doctors: November 2010

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Most often, knee arthritis can be detected with X-rays, and they should be obtained before MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is considered. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an MRI may allow earlier detection of bone erosion than X-rays, but this information may not change your treatment plan. One study found that MRI did not provide any information that could not have been obtained by X-rays, and researchers concluded that in most patients MRI is unnecessary.
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