Knee Meniscus Signs Do not Help in Diagnosis

Signs of catching and locking are found equally often in mechanical knee pains and in meniscus tears. They cannot be relied upon.

Thorlund, Jonas Bloch, et al.
Conundrum of mechanical knee symptoms: signifying feature of a meniscal tear?.
Br J Sports Med (2018): bjsports-2018.

  • 817 cases – 641 without and 176 with cartilage tears
  • about half had complaints of catching and locking
  • they were no more commoner in cartilage tears than without.
  • Went so far as to say:
    “Clinicians should be cautious to conclude, even in the presence of a meniscal tear confirmed by MRI, that the patient-reported mechanical symptoms are attributable to the meniscal tear.”

Comment – looks like you just have to refer those with problems and tell them there is a 22% chance it could mean a cartilage tear.

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