Imaging the post-operative meniscus

Andoni P Toms, Lawrence M White, Thomas J Marshall, Simon T Donell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Considerable developments have occurred in meniscal surgery, and consequently in the imaging of post-operative menisci, over the last 15 years. A drive to preserve meniscal physiologic function for as long as possible, in order to delay osteoarthrosis, has resulted in limited partial meniscectomies, meniscal repairs and meniscal transplants. Each of these techniques affects the imaging appearance of the meniscus, reducing the accuracy of conventional MRI in predicting recurrent tears. The specificity of conventional MRI can be improved by employing at least two T2-weighted sequences, but this still leaves a shortfall in sensitivity. In an attempt to increase the diagnostic accuracy of cross-sectional imaging, MR arthrography (MRA) and CT arthrography (CTA), have been applied to the post-operative meniscus. Sensitivities and specificities for these two techniques approach 90% in predicting recurrent meniscal tears. In the setting of clinical symptoms and gross meniscal deficiency, meniscal allografts are being transplanted with increasing frequency. In these transplants meniscal degeneration, fragmentation and separation are common findings, but the role of imaging in the management of these patients has not yet been well defined. This review explores the imaging techniques available for the evaluation of the post-operative meniscus, their strengths and weaknesses, and the reasons that they may find a place in a rational strategy for imaging of the symptomatic post-operative knee.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2005


  • Arthrography
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Menisci, Tibial
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Postoperative Period
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed

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