Melbourne Radiology Clinic
Ground Floor
Suite 3-6, 100 Victoria Parade
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Ph: 03 9667 1667
Fax: 03 9667 1666


MRI Gallery - Knee ACL and meniscal injuries following acute trauma

Adult MRI Series:
Scan of knee following acute trauma

The advent of MRI heralded a new era in musculoskeletal imaging and sounded the end of the routine use of invasive imaging tests, such as arthrography. Non invasive MRI is now the routine modality of choice in investigating most joints.

Specifically in relation to the knee, MRI has the ability to visualise normal and pathological conditions of menisci, ligaments, joint capsule, tendons, cartilage, subchondral bone marrow oedema and intra-articular bodies.

One of the most common clinical scenarios in the clinical and imaging assessment of knee trauma is the integrity of the meniscus and whether a tear is present that may warrant arthroscopic debridement.

Other important consequences of trauma includes instability, with the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) the most important stabiliser. The ACL is typically completely torn when injured and often occurs in conjunction with other ligament injuries, as well as meniscal tears and chondral defects. An isolated tear of the ACL is often a straightforward clinical diagnosis, however with concomitant injury of other structures, pain inhibition frequently precludes an adequate clinical examination, in which case either MRI and/or arthroscopic assessment are required.

MRI scans of the knee that are eligible for the Medicare rebate referred by GPs are bulk billed at Melbourne Radiology Clinic.

Medicare Update:
Changes to Medicare Funded Knee Imaging Services
– 1 Nov 2018.

GPs will not be able to request more than three knee MRIs per patient per annum for patients aged 16-49 and will not be able to refer patients aged 50 years and over for knee MRIs.

From 1 November 2018, new restrictions will be introduced to limit the ability of general practitioners (GPs) to request knee MRIs for patients 50 years and over (MBS items 63560 & 63561). Specialists will still be able to request knee MRIs for any patient, regardless of the patient’s age.

Figure 7. Sagittal MRI of the knee in a patient presenting with instability following a twisting injury demonstrates mid substance rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (arrow).

Figure 8. Sagittal MRI of the knee in a 44 year old male following a twisting injury reveals hyperintense (bright) signal in keeping with fluid, extending to the undersurface of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus, in keeping with a tear.

MBS Item Description
(as of 1/11/2018)

MRI Scan of knee following acute knee trauma after referral by a medical practitioner (other than a specialist or consultant physician) for a patient aged 16-49 years: with:

  • inability to extend the knee suggesting the possibility of acute meniscal tear; or
  • clinical findings suggesting acute anterior cruciate ligament tear
GP Referred