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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings of Surgically Proven Medial Meniscus Root Tear: Tear Configuration and Associated Knee Abnormalities

Lee, Yong Gu MD*; Shim, Jae-Chan MD*; Choi, Yun Sun MD†; Kim, Jin Goo MD‡; Lee, Ghi Jai MD*; Kim, Ho Kyun MD*

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: May/June 2008 - Volume 32 - Issue 3 - pp 452-457
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e31812f4eb0
Musculoskeletal Imaging: Original Article

Objective: To evaluate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of medial meniscal root tear and the correlation of medial meniscal root tear with other associated knee abnormalities.

Methods: We retrospectively assessed preoperative magnetic resonance images of 39 patients with arthroscopically confirmed medial meniscal root tear. Magnetic resonance imaging findings were retrospectively reviewed by 2 experienced musculoskeletal radiologists for consensus. We evaluated the configuration of meniscal root tear and the other associated knee abnormalities on MRI for direct correlation with arthroscopic findings.

Results: At arthroscopy, there were 36 radial tears and 3 complex tears involving the medial meniscal posterior horn roots. All 36 radial tears could be correctly diagnosed by MRI, with findings showing ghost sign on sagittal images in 100% (36/36), vertical linear defect on coronal images in 100% (36/36), and radial linear defect on axial image in 94% (34/36). However, all 3 complex tears were misdiagnosed as radial tears on MRI. Medial meniscal root tears displayed a strong association with degenerative joint disease in 97% (38/39). Medial meniscal root tears were also found in association with cartilage defects of the medial femoral condyle and medial meniscal extrusions (≥3 mm) in 89% (34/38) and 67% (26/39), respectively.

Conclusions: Medial meniscal root tears were usually posterior horn root radial tear. A high association with degenerative joint disease, cartilage defects of the medial femoral condyle, and medial meniscal extrusions (≥3 mm) were also noted.

From the *Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine; †Department of Radiology, Eulji Hospital, Eulji University School of Medicine; and ‡Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Received for publication March 26, 2007; accepted May 30, 2007.

Reprints: Jae-Chan Shim, MD, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, no. 85, 2-Ka, Jur-Dong, Chung-Gu, Seoul 100-032, Korea (e-mail: shimj@seoulpaik.ac.kr).

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.