X-Ray Knee

About the test

X-ray knee is a simple and non-invasive imaging test that is used to assess the condition and structure of the knee. Through this test, the doctor is able to get two comprehensive views of the knee i.e. an anteroposterior view and a lateral view. Both views enable the doctor to visualize any abnormality related to the knee joint. This test helps the doctors to detect various conditions related to the knee joint.

The knee joint comprises of -

  • Bones -
    • Patella (kneecap)
    • The femur (thigh bone)
    • Tibia (shin bone)
  • Cartilages – The shock absorbers that act as a cushion and help the bones to move smoothly next to each other.
    • Articular cartilage
    • Meniscus
  • Ligaments – Fibrous tissues that act as the connecting ropes between bones.
    • Anterior cruciate ligament
    • Lateral collateral ligament
    • Medial collateral ligament
    • Posterior cruciate ligament

Procedure of the test:

The standard procedure of taking an X-ray of the knee involves taking images of the knee joint in AP and LAT view. The procedure for both AP and LAT view is given below-

  • An X-ray knee AP View – In the AP view the X-Rays pass through the knee from front to back. This produces a black and white picture of the joint that helps the doctors to clearly visualize the reduced joint space caused due to cartilage loss, meniscus disorders, and/or ligament laxity.
  • An X-Ray Knee Standing LAT View – In the LAT view, the images are produced only in the supine (horizontal) position. The patient may be asked to lie down and bend the knee to 30 degrees. The lateral view makes it easier for the doctors to comprehend the condition of the patellofemoral joint (joint between kneecap and thighbone).  The lateral image of the knee joint also allows the doctor to assess the condition of the soft tissues.

Why get tested?

The test is prescribed to help the doctors to visualize and detect any of the following in the knee area -

  • Changes in the soft tissues
  • Space between the joints
  • Signs of onset of arthritis
  • Trauma or fracture

This test includes

  • X-Ray Knee


  • No specific preparation is required before undergoing an X-Ray Knee standing AP & LAT view.
  • The technician may ask the patient to wear loose fitted clothes.
  • The patients are advised to inform the doctor about any metal implants from surgeries beforehand as these implants block the rays from passing through the knee.

Frequently asked questions

Q.Why would a patient need to undergo an X-ray knee test?

An X-ray knee test may be prescribed to get a clear view of the knee joint and the surrounding area. The test may be recommended if the doctor suspects a bone fracture or degeneration of the tissues in the knee. The two views enable the doctor to clearly visualize the knee and detect any abnormality present in the joint. The test may also be prescribed as a diagnostic measure to see the onset of arthritis in the knee.

Q.What can one expect during an X-ray knee test?

During an X-ray knee test, the patient will be asked to wear loose fitted clothes. The technician will then instruct the patients to take a position in which the clearest image can be obtained.

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X-Ray Knee