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The location of knee pain and pathology in patients with a presumed meniscus tear: preoperative symptoms compared to arthroscopic findings

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Abstract

Background

Pain is one of the primary motivations for patients to seek medical advice. Pain location is one element in the process of formulating a diagnosis.

Aims

The purpose of the study is to determine if there is a correlation between the location of pain and the location of pathology in the knees of patients with a suspected meniscus tear.

Methods

From a possible 856 patients referred for arthroscopy, 213 patients consented to be included in the study and 193 (90 %) completed the study. The participating subjects located area of their symptoms on a diagram showing the four aspects of the knee joint. For analysis purposes symptoms were grouped into medial, lateral, posterior, or a combination of these areas. Pathology identified at arthroscopy was recorded on the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) surgical form. The location of knee pathology was divided into medial compartment, lateral compartment or combinations of pathologies. Locations of pain were analysed for an association with the location of pathology found at arthroscopy.

Results

Of the 193 subjects who completed the study, 69 (35.7 %) of the subjects presented with one location of pain i.e. medial, lateral or posterior pain and the remaining 124 (64.3 %) had multiple areas. In correlating locations of reported pain with pathology, there was no significant correlation found (p = 0.98).

Conclusions

This study found no direct correlation between the location of pain and the location of pathology in the knee in patients with a suspected meniscus tear.

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Correspondence to J. Campbell.

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Campbell, J., Harte, A., Kerr, D.P. et al. The location of knee pain and pathology in patients with a presumed meniscus tear: preoperative symptoms compared to arthroscopic findings. Ir J Med Sci 183, 23–31 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-013-0965-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-013-0965-3

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