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Semin Musculoskelet Radiol. 2011 Sep;15(4):383-407. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1286018. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Imaging of the postoperative knee.

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  • 1NationalRad, Weston, FL 33326, USA.


In the typical radiology practice, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the postoperative knee is a common and almost daily occurrence. Postoperative patients present with a wide array of complaints including persistent or recurrent knee pain and instability. A thorough knowledge of the commonly performed procedures along with the normal postoperative appearance and potential postoperative complications will ensure that the radiologist provides an optimal evaluation of the postoperative MRI. This article reviews some of the most common arthroscopic procedures performed on the knee including ligament, meniscal, and articular cartilage procedures. A description of the most common procedures is provided along with a discussion of the expected postoperative appearance of the knee. The most common complications and reasons for recurrent symptoms are discussed. MR imaging techniques are reviewed including the various options available for evaluating the postoperative meniscus. A thorough discussion is provided regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the use of conventional MRI versus direct and indirect MR arthrography in the setting of prior meniscal surgery.

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