Accurate diagnostic imaging for meniscal abnormalities has been difficult to achieve. MRI images are widely considered to be the “gold standard”. However, with an estimated 47% misdiagnosis rate, and large price tag, MRI’s may not be the most convenient or effective diagnostic tool when dealing with meniscus. A recent study published in the Journal of Knee Surgery, examined the usefulness of Ultrasonography for diagnostic imaging of meniscal injury in patients suffering from acute knee pain.
Seventy- one patients with acute knee pain were enrolled in the study. Each patient received preoperative MRI and Ultrasound imaging, assessed by a blinded evaluator, to determine the presence, absence and degree of meniscal injury. Then the patients underwent arthroscopic knee evaluation to determine the exact degree of meniscal pathology. The data was collected and each imaging modality was compared to the findings on arthroscopic examination.
The results revealed that Ultrasonography was two times more effective than MRI in correctly determining the presence or absence of meniscal injury determined in the arthroscopic knee evaluation. The study concluded that Ultrasound imaging is an effective tool for identifying meniscal pathology, and has potential advantages to MRI. Although more research is needed to fully understand the clinical usefulness of musculoskeletal ultrasound and its potential advantages to MRI, this study provides evidence supporting the potential use of a portable ultrasound device for point-of-injury diagnostic imaging of meniscus pathology.
Learn musculoskeletal ultrasound hands-on, plus more about the latest research bridging surgical and non-surgical orthopedics using biologics at the upcoming TOBI: The Orthobiologic Institute 5th Annual PRP & Regenerative Medicine Symposium with Cadaver Lab, June 6-7, 2014 in Las Vegas. Cadaver Lab: Ultrasound-guided Injections and Bone Marrow Aspirate includes lecture and live model demonstration by Dr. Jay Smith, Mayo Clinic. www.prpseminar.com.