How is a meniscus injury diagnosed?
The orthopaedic surgeon will first take a history of the
injury to help determine if the signs and symptoms might suggest
the doctor will evaluate the knee for swelling and tenderness in
a physical examination. The knee will be tender when pressed
on the injured side where the tibia and femur meet. The McMurray's
maneuver is a test in which the doctor applies pressure
and moves the knee from straight to bent to straight again to see
what positions cause pain or catching (indications of a meniscal
The doctor may use imaging to assess the amount of damage.
X-rays can show any fractures or arthritic conditions in
the knee. A narrow joint space or bone changes indicate bone-on-bone
rubbing and arthritis. If the diagnosis is still not clear, an MRI
(Magnetic Resonance Image) may be ordered to reveal damage to
ligamaments and menisci. This exam is 70 - 95% accurate in revealing
meniscal tears, and can also show any ligament damage.
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