Occult fractures of the knee: tomographic evaluation.
Seven adults with painful effusions of the knee were examined for occult fractures using pluridirectional tomography in the coronal and lateral planes. Six patients (ages 50-82 years) were osteopenic and gave histories ranging from none to mild trauma; one 26-year-old man was not osteopenic and had severe trauma. In all cases, routine radiographs were interpreted as negative, but tomography demonstrated a fracture. Five fractures were subchondral. Bone scans in 2 patients were positive. The authors conclude that osteopenic patients with a painful effusion of the knee should be considered to have an occult fracture. While bone scans may be helpful, tomography is recommended as the procedure of choice to define the location and extent of the fracture.
Apple, JS; Martinez, S; Allen, NB; Caldwell, DS; Rice, JR
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