MRI Finding a Meniscus tear


Q: My 17 year old son injured his knee about 5 weeks ago, we had an mri done as a cash patient. Could you please tell me in "people" terms haha, what the following items mean. 1.Bone marrow edema or contusion involving the lateral femoral condyle and posterior medial aspect of the patella. There is no evidence of a focal osteochandral defect. 2.Subtle abnormal signal intensity extending obliquely through the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus to the inferior menisceal surface believed to represent a lateral menisceal tear.


A:    Basically, the MRI report that you transcribed in your question,  in layman terms, describe a contusion that involved the distal part of the femur and the patella and a Meniscus tear, it does not state the degree of tear, but, hopefully would be a small one. Meniscus injuries are a common problem in sports and in young active individuals; they are the most frequent injury to the knee joint. The menisci are C -shaped fibrocartilaginous structures attached to the tibia and their main functions to enhance the contact between the two articular surfaces of the knee: femur and tibia ones. Sometimes these injuries are associated with ACL or collateral ligaments tears, this does not seem to be the case with your son. If the meniscus lesion is mild and the ligament tear is partial, conservative treatment can be used. Spontaneous healing is common because of the rich blood supply in the meniscus periphery. Successful recovery from a meniscus tear is helped by a gradual resolution of symptoms over 6 weeks with a return to normal activity by 3 months. But in more severe cases (complete torn meniscus and/or ligaments) the arthroscopic repair surgery must be considered.

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