The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 22, Issue: 4, Page: 341-6

Role of magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of the painful unicompartmental knee arthroplasty

Park, Caroline N; Zuiderbaan, Hendrik A; Chang, Anthony; Khamaisy, Saker; Pearle, Andrew D; Ranawat, Anil S


Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) is a well established method for the treatment of single compartment arthritis; however, a subset of patients still present with continued pain after their procedure in the setting of a normal radiographic examination. This study investigates the effectiveness of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in guiding the diagnosis of the painful unicompartmental knee arthroplasty.


An IRB-approved retrospective review identified 300 consecutive UKAs performed over a three years period with 28 cases of symptomatic UKA (nine percent) with normal radiographic images.


MRI examination was instrumental in finding a diagnosis that went undetected on radiographs. Based on MRI findings, 10 (36%) patients underwent surgery whilst 18 (64%) were treated conservatively.


This study supports the use of MRI as a valuable imaging modality for managing symptomatic unicompartmental knee arthroplasty.

Level of evidence

Case series

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