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J Korean Soc Radiol. 2010 Nov;63(5):475-481. English. Original Article.
Lee HM , Shim JC , Kim JG , Lee JM , Nam MY , Lee GJ , Kim HK , Suh JH .
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Inje University, Seoul Paik Hospital, Korea.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Inje University, Seoul Paik Hospital, Korea.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the various tear configurations in a medial meniscal posterior horn root tear and assess whether any correlation exists with other associated knee abnormalities in MR imaging. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of 146 preoperative knee MR images were performed by one experienced musculoskeletal radiologist. The tear configuration and other abnormalities were evaluated. Sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy of each configuration in the medial meniscal posterior horn root tear were calculated. RESULTS: A total of 48 medial meniscal posterior horn root tears including 38 full-thickness radial, 7 partial-thickness radial, and 3 complex tears were confirmed during arthroscopy. Overall, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for the detection of medial meniscal posterior horn root tear were 92% (44/48), 99% (97/98), and 97%(141/146), respectively. For each tear configuration, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 82% (31/38), 97% (105/108), and 93% (136/146) for full-thickness radial tears, respectively, and 43% (3/7), 94% (131/139), and 91% (134/146) for partial-thickness radial tears, respectively. The incidence of degenerative joint disease was 85% (41/48) for the tear group, revealing a strong association. In patients with a root tear and with degenerative joint disease, the incidence of high grade cartilage defects involving the medial femoral condyle was at 80% (33/41), compared to 56% (23/41) for the presence of medial meniscal extrusion. In contrast, a similar comparison of incidence for patients with no root tears but with degenerative joint disease was at 68% (17/25) and 26%(8/31), respectively. CONCLUSION: MR imaging is very sensitive for the detection of medial meniscal root tears, but has reduced the accuracy with regard to each tear configuration. Medial meniscal root tears showed a strong association with degenerative joint disease. High grade cartilage defects of the medial femoral condyle and medial meniscal extrusions also reveal a strong association with medial meniscal root tears.

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