Order an Xray You will never be criticised for ordering an X-ray. They show us a lot of information: an X-ray is a better test than MRI for looking for arthritis, for example.
Make it the right one, and make it a good one Ensure that it is correct and of decent quality - patients frequently need repeat x-rays and they are rarely impressed!
Knee: Knee AP WB, lat, patella (WB = weight bearing). Make sure you stipulate patella, because otherwise it will not be done. Many people have patella pain so this one is important.
Hip: AP pelvis, AP/lat hip.
Know when to order an MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging is useful in both hips and knees, looking for soft tissue disorders. MRI scans are of little use in arthritis, including meniscal tears, labral tears and chondral injuries.
Not everyone undergoing surgery needs to have an MRI. Although they are almost becoming expected, they can delay surgery and are very expensive.
Bone scans can help to localise pain They are usually ordered by a surgeon
CT scans are helpful in trauma and special circumstances only Computerised Tomography scans are usually ordered by a surgeon.
There is limited use for ultrasound Ultrasounds cost patients time and money and are frequently of little utility.