Patellar tendon–lateral femoral condyle friction syndrome: MR imaging in 42 patients
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Objective: To demonstrate the MR imaging findings that occur between the posterior inferolateral patellar tendon and the lateral femoral condyle in patients with chronic anterior and or lateral knee pain. Patients and design: A retrospective review of the MR images in 42 patients who presented with chronic anterior or lateral knee pain was performed by two musculoskeletal radiologists. In 15 patients, post-contrast images were available. Results: Sagittal and axial imaging planes best demonstrated the patellar tendon and its relationship with the lateral femoral condyle. In 40 patients, there was obliteration of the fat planes and abnormal signal intensity in the lateral soft tissues of the inferior patellofemoral joint. Enhancement after administration of gadolinium was noted in all cases in which contrast was administered. Eighteen patients showed cystic changes in the soft tissues adjacent to the lateral femoral condyle in addition to fat plane obliteration. In two patients, only cystic changes were noted in the lateral soft tissues. Abnormal patellar alignment was noted in 37 patients. Patellar tendon pathology was seen in nine patients. Conclusion: In evaluating anterior knee symptoms, MR imaging allows identification of changes that may be related to patellar tendon–lateral femoral condyle friction syndrome and that should be distinguished from other causes of anterior or lateral knee pain.
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