Displacing lateral meniscus masquerading as patella dislocation

Elizabeth A. Arendt, Cristián A. Fontboté, Sara R. Rohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: To alert the treating clinician to an uncommon knee meniscal condition that often masquerades as a more common patella condition.

METHODS: Retrospective chart review of a series of cases was undertaken. A series of 12 knees in 11 patients were referred to an orthopaedic surgeon with a diagnosis of recurrent lateral patella dislocation. Three knees had undergone patella realignment surgery with continuance of symptoms. Eight patients had prior magnetic resonance images read as no meniscal pathology and no acute patella/patella retinacular injury. All patients presented for a consult with a similar history.

RESULTS: Under anaesthesia, all knees had a stable patella as judged by physical examination. At the time of surgery, six patients had a frank tear in the lateral meniscus, all of which were readily displaceable. Six knees showed a displaceable lateral meniscus with attenuation but not a visible frank tear. Ten menisci were treated with repair, and two knees underwent partial lateral meniscectomies. Patient follow-up of minimally 18 months revealed no further episodes of "knee-cap dislocation" or symptoms of catching and locking.

CONCLUSIONS: The clinician treating a patient with a history of a knee locking in flexion should have a high index of suspicion for a lateral meniscus tear or an unstable hypermobile lateral meniscus, despite patient report of perceived patella movement. History of symptoms occurring in knee flexion and attention to patella physical examination should be key factors in this diagnostic conundrum.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Retrospective chart review, Level IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2315-2319
Number of pages5
JournalKnee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA
Volume22
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

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