Knee x-ray (summary)

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 18 May 2020
This is a basic article for medical students and other non-radiologists

A knee x-ray, also known as knee series or knee radiograph, is a set of two x-rays of the knee joint. It is performed to look for evidence of injury (or pathology) affecting the knee, often after trauma.

Reference article

This is a summary article. For more information, you can read a more in-depth reference article: knee series.


  • indications
    • knee trauma with suspicion of bony injury
  • procedure
    • AP and lateral views of the knee
      • lateral view should be performed with a horizontal beam to demonstrate fluid levels (if present)
  • similar tests
    • femur x-ray
      • specific test looking for isolated femoral injury
    • tib/fib x-ray
      • specific test looking for tibial or fibular injury
      • may be used following direct trauma to the leg

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