Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has traditionally only played a small role in the clinical care of most patients with arthritis. However, with modern therapeutic strategies, early diagnosis is now more important than ever before. Consequently, advanced MRI techniques and applications now play a crucial role in managing an increasing proportion of rheumatology patients. This article reviews MR imaging techniques that are in widespread use and in development for detection and quantification of inflammation and structural damage in arthritis. It focuses on the role of MR imaging for diagnosis, management, and research in inflammatory arthropathies. Osteoarthritis and gout are briefly reviewed.