Radiologists can make a more accurate preoperative diagnosis of damage to knee cartilage by using four radiologic signs, a recent study found. Using the four signs to identify the extent and type of damage to knee cartilage makes interpreting MRIs with higher degrees of accuracy easier for any radiologist, regardless of their level of expertise.
During the course of this study, reviewers correctly identified 17 (89%) of 19 radial meniscal tears using the four radiologic signs: the truncated triangle, cleft, marching cleft, and the ghost meniscus. Each of these signs describes a unique type of tear and damage to the cartilage of the knee. These types of tears are categorized based upon the easily recognizable patterns which show up on MRIs.
A meniscal tear exposes the underlying cartilage of the knee and can lead to accelerated wear and arthritis from the decreased structural integrity of the knee joint. Fortunately some types of meniscal tears can be repaired. However, "radial tears are significant in that they frequently are irreparable, and even a relatively small tear can lead to advanced wear," said Keith Harper, MD, lead author of the study.
Philip Knowles | EurekAlert!
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