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Radiological assessment of medial meniscuc tear of the knee - Research Paper Example

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Radiological Assessment of Medial Meniscus Tear of the Knee Meniscus refers to a fibro-cartilaginous, crescent-shaped structure partly dividing a joint cavity. These structures are present in the knee, sternoclavicular, temporomandibular and acromioclavicular joints within the human body…
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Radiological assessment of medial meniscuc tear of the knee
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Download file to see previous pages Within the knee, these structures provide strength to the joint enabling the knees to perform various functions like movement. Because of the functions performed by these structures, they remain highly prone to injuries among other problems (Jette & Jette, 1996). In layman’s terms, medical practitioners and patients commonly refer the meniscus tear of the knee as “torn cartilage”. Individuals participating in active sporting activities suffer most from meniscus tear resulting from traumatic forces encountered during these activities. These traumatic forces result from quick, twisting movements of the knee. Meniscus tear can also occur while indulging in innocuous actions like squatting (Rath & Richmond, 2000). In numerous cases involving aged individuals, damages could result from prolonged ‘tear and wear’, commonly called degenerative tear (Anz et al., 2013). Individuals older than 45 years remain highly susceptible to degenerative tears. These effects, however, remain subject to the nature of activities, which the individual engages in during his lifetime. Injuries into the other vital ligaments of human knee could also contribute towards meniscus tear (Anz et al., 2013). Patients experiencing meniscus tear complain of swelling and excruciating knee pains. These symptoms could be worsened if the individual continues performing activities that increase the knee stress (Teitz, 2009). Joint locking might also be experienced, making it impossible for the patient to stretch the leg, which could be accompanied by a clicking feeling in some patients (Winslow & Bach, 2001). Meniscus tear could occur slowly following involvement in strenuous activities like running and patients might not remember the injury-causing incident. While resting, a patient might not experience any pains, but slight movements of the knee remain extremely painful following meniscus tear. The presence of these symptoms in patients prompts doctors to perform clinical tests aimed at ascertaining cause. Tenderness at a specified knee could prove the presence of meniscus tear (Winslow & Bach, 2001). Meniscus tear causes immense pain with a twisting motion because the meniscus fragments get pinched and stretched during the process. Meniscus tear normally limits the joint movement ranges. Doctors use McMurray test in establishing the presence of medial meniscus tears. The affected leg is stretched and turned, and pain or click indicates the presence of the medial meniscus tear. Sources put McMurray’s test sensitivity at 53% and specificity at 97% (Solomon et al., 2001). Bending the knee and squatting become extremely painful maneuvers when the meniscus becomes torn. Excruciating pains present within the knee areas could indicate torn meniscus, although other knee ligaments could present similar painful experiences once injured. Injury to any of the four knee ligaments could produce similar feelings to the patient, and McMurray’s test, therefore, becomes essential in ascertaining the presence of the medial meniscus tear (Solomon, et al., 2001). The importance of the meniscus in the knee remains distributing body weight across the knee joint for easy locomotive activities. This even distribution of body weight prevents early damages from occurring through giving stability to the joint. There are two principal causes of meniscus tears in human knees, namely traumatic injuries and degenerative process (Teitz, 2009). Traumatic tears commonly occur in active individuals and are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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