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Int Orthop. 2009 Feb;33(1):129-32. doi: 10.1007/s00264-008-0520-4. Epub 2008 Feb 23.

Clinical, MRI, and arthroscopic correlation in meniscal and anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

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University College London Hospitals/The Princess Grace Hospital, 42-52 Nottingham Place, London, W1M 3FD, UK.


The aim of this prospective study was to compare and correlate clinical, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and arthroscopic findings in cases of meniscal tear and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. MRI scan results and clinical diagnosis are compared against the arthroscopic confirmation of the diagnosis. One hundred and thirty-one patients had suspected traumatic meniscal or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Clinical examination had better sensitivity (0.86 vs. 0.76), specificity (0.73 vs. 0.52), predictive values, and diagnostic accuracy in comparison to MRI scan in diagnosis for medial meniscal tears. These parameters showed only marginal difference in lateral meniscal and anterior cruciate ligament injuries. We conclude that carefully performed clinical examination can give equal or better diagnosis of meniscal and ACL injuries in comparison to MRI scan. MRI may be used to rule out such injuries rather than to diagnose them.

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