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Discoid Lateral Meniscus in Children

Hart, Erin S.; Kalra, Kunal P.; Grottkau, Brian E.; Albright, Maurice; Shannon, Elizabeth G.

doi: 10.1097/01.NOR.0000320545.35858.04
Article

The discoid lateral meniscus is the most common abnormal meniscal variant in children. It affects the shape and mobility of the menisci, altering the normal mechanical relationships between the articulating surfaces of the knee and predisposing it to injury. The incidence of discoid lateral meniscus is estimated to be 1%–3% in the pediatric population and the condition is bilateral in 10%–20% of patients (Stanitski, 2002). An otherwise asymptomatic knee with an incidentally detected discoid meniscus does not require surgical intervention. However, a discoid lateral meniscus is much more likely to tear, and many children develop pain as well as mechanical symptoms (popping, snapping, locking, or giving way of the knee). Recent improvements in arthroscopic technique have led to greater attempts to stabilize, sculpt, and repair the torn discoid lateral meniscus. This article will review the classification, clinical presentation, diagnostic/imaging studies, and treatment options for a discoid lateral meniscus in children.

Erin S. Hart, MS, RN, CPNP, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Boston, MA.

Kunal P. Kalra, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Boston, MA.

Brian E. Grottkau, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Boston, MA.

Maurice Albright, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Boston, MA.

Elizabeth G. Shannon, PhD, RN, PNP, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Boston, MA.

The authors have no significant ties, financial or otherwise, to any company that might have an interest in the publication of this educational activity.

© 2008 National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses