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Investigation of Knee Problems

By taking a detailed history of your symptoms and examining your knee, your Knee Specialists consultant will often be able to diagnose the problem. However, further investigations are sometimes necessary. The Knee Specialists consultant partners work closely with Bristol musculoskeletal imaging (expert radiologists), holding regular weekly meetings to discuss scans and complex cases. The following paragraph tells you about some of the tests and scans you may need to undergo:

  • Blood tests can help distinguish between inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis and help rule out infection in painful joint replacements. Some routine blood tests are usually required as part of the pre-operative assessment for large operations.
  • X-rays of the knee can help assess bone injury and the distribution and severity of knee arthritis. Special views, including weight bearing or stress views and long leg alignment films, may be necessary in arthritic patients.
  • CT scans use radiation like X-rays but can provide useful 3-dimensional assessment of alignment and bone damage, particularly in the assessment of painful or collapsed knee replacements prior to revision surgery.
  • MRI scans do not use radiation. They give an assessment of bone problems around the knee, but are most effective at showing injuries to the knee ligaments, discs of cartilage (menisci) and surface cartilage.
  • Ultrasound scans, when performed by experienced musculoskeletal radiologists, can provide an excellent dynamic assessment of tendonitis and bursitis around the knee, as well as being used to provide accurate guidance for targeted injections of either steroids or platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
“You have the ability to understand the needs of the patient both physically and emotionally, and this coupled with your undoubted skills as a surgeon ensures for everyone a package of care second to none. I feel so very lucky - privileged to have been treated by you.”
Mr P.H.
“Thanks for the excellent result following my knee operation in December. After years of problems, I can no walk straight and pain free for which I am very grateful.”
Mrs M. T.
“Thank you for your skill and kindness and patience. My wife's knee is steadily getting better and we are extremely grateful. We only wish we had come to you at the beginning. We cannot thank you enough.”
Mr N. & Mrs R. M.
“On attending your outpatients clinic a few months after the operation, my mother and I were so pleased that you spotted us and that you came across to greet us. Every consultation was once again very informative and to the point. I really feel that you are a star and a credit to your profession.”
Mr J. M.
“I can't express my gratitude enough on how very please I am with my new knee. Life was pretty much unbearable before the operation, getting in and out of the car and trying to work was almost impossible. I now have no pain. I started back to work this week and believe this is all down to your fantastic work.”
Mr P. J.
“Thank you for all the effort you have put in to making my sporting career a step closer. I was misdiagnosed for a long time and I thought I would never get the right help and understanding from anyone.”
Ms E. S.
“Thank you for your care and attention and I cannot say what a big difference this operation has made to my everyday life.”
Ms K. S.
“Many thanks for doing such a good reconstruction on my knee and for being so pleasant and kind. Great service and I would recommend you to anyone.”
Ms M. D.
“Words can never express our gratitude. Our quality of life has improved and we are rebuilding our lives with hope for the future.”
Mr & Mrs H.
“I wish to make it known that I am very grateful to you all, following the successful total replacement of both my knees.”
Mr B. H.
“Words are not enough to say thank you, we now have a future to look forward to.”
Mr E & Mrs J. H
“I appreciate your flexibility and willingness to work around my work and personal commitments when scheduling my surgery. It has meant that I have got back to work shiftly and walked down the aisle without a limp!”
Mrs H. B.
“I have just finished my first 3000m climb of the season in the French Alps. Thanks for the excellent job on my knee.”
Mr A. B.
“Just a quick note to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for giving me back my leg.”
Mr D. L.
“I appreciate that I was always told what could or might happen. In fact I remember one incident when we were looking at X rays at 9.30pm on the ward after you had been operating all day.”
Mr A. W.
“Following my recent half knee replacement operation, I would like to thank you most sincerely for the expert care, attention and re-assurance you and your team gave me.”
Mrs B. S.
“You did a partial knee replacement for me the other day, and the mobility in the joint is 'amazing'. I was back bowling in 3 weeks, and I can dance, walk, swim and even climb step ladders.”
Mr F. D.