Knee MRI Direct Access

Knee MRI Direct Access

Dear Colleague,

Due to the high variation in use and the concern from MSK specialists that many knee MRI requests add little to patient care, we are restricting GP access to this particular investigation.

Each MRI of the knee costs £124-£145. The prevailing view is that MRI of the knee in patients over 50 will often highlight asymptomatic or clinically insignificant changes resulting in referrals where the expectation is raised regarding intervention. In all patients the MRI has to be preceded by and the result contextualised with a good knee examination.

It will make better use of this resource to fund more through the MSK team.

If you are unsure about a patient with a knee problem and think an MRI might help, please send the request via the MSK referral process. The triage team can assess this and if the referral strongly indicates MRI as the next step they can arrange it for the patient. If you are confident about your expertise in this area you can contact an MSK radiologist at STH.

Information about knees is available on the  website on  and

This will become effective as of June 1st 2016 

Dr Charles Heatley