0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
The Rational Clinical Examination |

Does This Patient Have a Torn Meniscus or Ligament of the Knee?  Value of the Physical Examination

Daniel H. Solomon, MD, MPH; David L. Simel, MD, MHS; David W. Bates, MD, MSc; Jeffrey N. Katz, MD, MSc; Jonathan L. Schaffer, MD, MBA
JAMA. 2001;286(13):1610-1620. doi:10.1001/jama.286.13.1610.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Context While most meniscal or ligamentous knee injuries heal with nonoperative treatments, a subset should be treated with arthroscopic or open surgery.

Objective To analyze the accuracy of the clinical examination for meniscal or ligamentous knee injuries.

Data Sources MEDLINE (1966-December 31, 2000) and HealthSTAR (1975-December 31, 2000) databases were searched for English-language articles describing the diagnostic accuracy of individual examination items for the knee and a combination of physical examination items (composite examination). Other data sources included reference lists from relevant articles.

Study Selection Studies selected for data extraction were those that compared the performance of the physical examination of the knee with a reference standard, such as arthroscopy, arthrotomy, or magnetic resonance imaging. Eighty-eight articles were identified, of which 23 (26%) met inclusion criteria.

Data Extraction A rheumatologist and an orthopedic surgeon independently reviewed each article using a standardized rating scale that scored the assembly of the study, the relevance of the patients enrolled, the appropriateness of the reference standard, and the blinding of the examiner.

Data Synthesis Summary likelihood ratios (LRs) were estimated from random effects models. The summary LRs for physical examination for tears of the anterior cruciate ligament, using the anterior drawer test, were 3.8 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7-22.0) for a positive examination and 0.30 (95% CI, 0.05-1.50) for a negative examination; the Lachman test, 25.0 (95% CI, 2.7-651.0) and 0.1 (95% CI, 0.0-0.4); and the composite assessment, 25.0 (95% CI, 2.1-306.0) and 0.04 (95% CI, 0.01-0.48), respectively. The LRs could not be generated for any specific examination maneuver for a posterior cruciate ligament tear, but the composite assessment had an LR of 21.0 (95% CI, 2.1-205.0) for a positive examination and 0.05 (95% CI, 0.01-0.50) for a negative examination. Determination of meniscal lesions, using McMurray test, had an LR of 1.3 (95% CI, 0.9-1.7) for a positive examination and 0.8 (95% CI, 0.6-1.1) for a negative examination; joint line tenderness, 0.9 (95% CI, 0.8-1.0) and 1.1 (95% CI, 1.0-1.3); and the composite assessment, 2.7 (95% CI, 1.4-5.1) and 0.4 (95% CI, 0.2-0.7), respectively.

Conclusion The composite examination for specific meniscal or ligamentous injuries of the knee performed much better than specific maneuvers, suggesting that synthesis of a group of examination maneuvers and historical items may be required for adequate diagnosis.

Figures in this Article

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview

Figures

Figure 1. Anatomy of the Knee
Graphic Jump Location
Right knee shown. LCL indicates lateral collateral ligament; ACL, anterior cruciate ligament; PCL, posterior cruciate ligament; and MCL, medial collateral ligament.
Figure 2. Examination Maneuvers
Graphic Jump Location
Right knee shown. Examination maneuvers include the Lachman, anterior drawer, lateral pivot shift, Apley compression, and McMurray tests. Lachman test, performed to detect anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, is conducted with the patient supine and the knee flexed to 20° to 30°. The anterior drawer test detects ACL injuries and is performed with the patient supine and the knee in 90° of flexion. The lateral pivot shift test is performed with the patient supine, the hip flexed 45°, and the knee in full extension. Internal rotation is applied to the tibia while the knee is flexed to 40° under a valgus stress (pushing the outside of the knee medially). The Apley compression test, used to assess meniscal integrity, is performed with the patient prone and the examiner's knee over the patient's posterior thigh. The tibia is externally rotated while a downward compressive force is applied over the tibia. The McMurray test, used to assess meniscal integrity, is performed with the patient supine and the examiner standing on the side of the affected knee. See "Function" section of text for full explanation of all examinations.

Tables

References

CME
Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Web of Science® Times Cited: 88

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...
Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles
Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();