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Bucket handle tear are m/c in the medial meniscus esp. with acute ACL and MCL tear
MRI signs; double PCL sign on sagittal slices
Absent “bow-tie” sign and others
Most cases require operative care
DDx From Meniscal Degeneration
Occasionally meniscal tears need to be DDx from meniscal degeneration which may also appear bright (high signal) on fluid-sensitive MRI
The simplest rule is that if there is a true meniscal tear aka Grade 3 lesion, it always reaches/extends to the tibial plateau surface
The Role of MSK Ultrasound (US) in Knee Examination
MSK US of the knee permits high resolution and dynamic imaging of primarily superficial anatomy (tendons, bursae, capsular ligaments)
MSK US cannot adequately evaluate cruciate ligaments and the menisci in their entirety
Thus MR imaging remains modality of choice
Potential Pathologies Successfully Evaluated by MSK US
Patellar tendionosis/patellar tendon rupture
Quadriceps tendon tear
Pes Anserine bursitis
Popliteal cyst (Baker cyst)
Inflammation/joint effusion with synovial thickening and hyperemia can be imaged with US (e.g., RA) especially with the addition of color power Doppler
Patient Presented With Atraumatic Knee Pain & Swelling
Radiography revealed sizeable soft tissue density within the superficial pre-patella region along with mild-to-moderate OA
MSK US demonstrated large septated heterogeneous fluid collection with mild positive Doppler activity on the periphery indicating inflammation d/t Dx of Superficial pre-patella bursitis
Long Axis US Images
Note normal lateral meniscus and fibers of LCL (above bottom image) compared to
Horizontal degenerative cleavage tear along with protrusion of lateral meniscus and LCL bulging (above top image)
Major limitation: unable to visualize the entire meniscus and the ACL/PCL
MRI referral is suggested
Rupture of Distal Tendon of Quadriceps
Note rupture of distal tendon of the Quadriceps muscle presented as fiber separation and fluid (hypo to anechoic) fluid collection within the substance of the tendon
Advantages of MSK US over MRI to evaluate superficial structures:
Disadvantages: limited depth of structures, inability to evaluated bone and cartilage, etc.
Osteochondral Knee Injuries (OI)
osteochondral knee injuries can occur in children 10-15 y.o presented as Osteochondritis Dissecance (OCD) and in mature skeleton m/c following hyperextension and rotation trauma, particularly in ACL tear.
OCD-typically develops from repeated forces in immature bone and affects m/c postero-lateral portion of the medial femoral condyle.
OI in mature bone occurs m/c during ACL tears mainly affecting so-called terminal sulcus of the lateral femoral condyle at the junction of the weight-bearing portion opposed to tibial plateau and the part articulating with the patella
Osteochondral injuries may potentially damage the articular cartilage causing secondary OA. Thus need to be evaluated surgically
Imaging plays an important role and should begin with radiography often followed by MR imaging and orthopedic referral.
95% associated with some trauma. Other etiology: ischemic bone necrosis especially in adults
Other common location for osteochondral injuries: elbow (capitellum), talus
1st step: radiography may detect osteochondral fragment potentially attached or detached
Location: a posterior-lateral aspect of the medial femoral condyle. Tunnel (intercondylar notch) view is crucial
MRI: modality of choice >90% specificity and sensitivity. Crucial for further management. T1-low signal demarcating line with T2 high signal demarcating line that signifies detachment and unlikely healing. Refer to orthopedic surgeon
Management: stable lesion esp. in younger children>off weight-bearing-heals in 50-75%
Unstable lesion and older child or impending physeal closure>operative fixation.
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