The Trapped Medial Meniscus Tear: An Examination Maneuver Helps Predict Arthroscopic Findings.
BACKGROUND: Numerous clinical examination maneuvers have been developed to identify meniscus tears of the knee. While meniscus injuries vary significantly in type and severity, no maneuvers have been developed that help to distinguish particular tear characteristics. PURPOSE: This nonconsecutive case series highlights a distinctive clinical finding that correlates with inferiorly displaced flap tears of the medial meniscus that become trapped in the medial gutter of the knee, as identified through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and arthroscopy. STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study (diagnosis); Level of evidence, 3. METHODS: Eight patients with trapped medial meniscus tears were identified from a single surgeon's academic orthopaedic sports medicine practice between January 2009 and January 2012. Each patient underwent clinical evaluation, MRI, and arthroscopic treatment for meniscus injury. Clinical notes, MRI images, radiology reports, and operative findings were reviewed and compared in a descriptive fashion. RESULTS: Each patient displayed a positive clinical examination finding of medial knee pain inferior to the joint line with flexion and the application of valgus stress in the setting of a torn medial meniscus and intact medial collateral ligament (MCL). Preoperative MRI revealed a distinctive flap tear of the medial meniscus flipped inferiorly to lay trapped between the tibia and deep fibers of the MCL. On arthroscopy, flap tears were found displaced inferiorly and trapped in the medial gutter in 6 of the 8 patients. Displaced meniscal fragments in the remaining 2 patients were found within the medial compartment. CONCLUSION: Inferiorly displaced flap tears of the meniscus that have been displaced to the medial gutter can be localized through a careful examination technique. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Early identification of this injury pattern may help reduce the likelihood that the trapped fragment will be missed during arthroscopy.
Herschmiller, TA; Anderson, JA; Garrett, WE; Taylor, DC
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)