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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 Apr;182(4):931-6.

Prevalence of meniscal radial tears of the knee revealed by MRI after surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Neuroimaging Institute, 27 E Hibiscus Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901, USA. tmageerad@cfl.rr.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Meniscal resection decreases the ability of the meniscus to evenly distribute forces placed on it. These forces are oriented centrifugally on the meniscus by normal weight-bearing and are distributed by circumferentially oriented fibers. This alteration may predispose the knee to radial tears after surgery.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

One of three musculoskeletal radiologists prospectively interpreted 100 consecutive postoperative MRI examinations of the knee. A prospective MRI report was generated for the referring orthopedic surgeon, and prospective MRI interpretations were correlated with arthroscopic findings (n = 63). MRI examinations on those patients who underwent second-look arthroscopy were retrospectively reviewed by three musculoskeletal radiologists who reached a consensus on the prevalence of new postoperative meniscal radial tears. MRI criteria for radial tear diagnosis were used as outlined by Tuckman et al.: truncation, abnormal morphology, lack of continuity, absence of the meniscus, or any combination of those criteria on one or more MR images. An additional criterion used was abnormal increased signal in that area on T2-weighted images.

RESULTS:

Thirty-two of the 100 patients had meniscal radial tears on prospective MRI interpretations. In 29 of these 32 patients, second-look arthroscopy confirmed meniscal radial tears in the areas described on the MRI examinations. Five additional radial tears were shown on second-look arthroscopy that were not seen on prospective MRI interpretations. Two of those additional five radial tears were seen on consensus retrospective MRI review.

CONCLUSION:

In this study, a 32% prevalence of meniscal radial tears in the postoperative knee was present on prospective MRI interpretations as opposed to a reported 14% prevalence in the nonoperated knee. Meniscal resection decreases the ability of the meniscus to evenly distribute forces placed on it. This circumstance may increase the prevalence of meniscal radial tears in the postoperative knee. New meniscal radial tears are common in patients presenting with pain after knee surgery.

PMID:
15039166
DOI:
10.2214/ajr.182.4.1820931
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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