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Flashcards in Knee orthopaedics and trauma Deck (50)
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What could predispose to early OA in the knee?

Previous meniscal tears

Ligament injuries (especially ACL deficiency)

Malalignment (genu varum > medial OA, genu valgum > lateral OA)


What treatment may benefit a young patient with isolated medial compartment OA?

Osteotomy of the proximal tibia, to shift load onto the lateral compartment


In which patients might knee replacement be considered?

Patients with substantial pain and disability where conservative management is no longer effective


What kind of knee replacements are there?

Total knee replacement - all three surfaces of the knee replaced

Partial knee replacement - unicompartmental replacement or patellofemoral replacement


What is the usual mechanism of injury in a meniscal tear?

Twisting force on a loaded knee

Usually sporting injury in younger patients or atraumatic spontaneous degenerate tears in older patients (over 40)


How should a suspected meniscal tear be investigated?



What would indicate a meniscal tear on examination of the knee?

Patient reports pain to the medial (majority) or lateral joint line

Effusion develops the next day

Pain on tibial rotation

 Catching sensation or "locking" where they have difficulty straightening the knee with a 15° or so block to full extension

Patients knees may feel about to give way if a loose meniscal fragment is caught in the knee when walking


What is the definition of true knee locking?

Mechanical block to full extension caused by a completely torn meniscus flipping over and becoming stuck in the joint line


Which kind of meniscal tear will not heal?



What is 'pseudo-locking' in the knee?

Difficulty in straigtening the joint e.g. in arthritis

This is not a full block to extension i.e. this is not a clinical sign of a meniscal tear


What other injury occurs in up to 25% of anterior cruciate ligament injuries?

Meniscal tear


Which kind of meniscal tear can cause true knee locking?

Bucket handle tear


What is the likely cause of a meniscal tear in an older patient?

Degenerative meniscal tear



How can a degenerative meniscal tear be distinguished from an acute injury?

A degenerative meniscal tear will be Steinmanns negative

Degenerative tears associated with early signs of OA


Why do meniscal tears have limited healing potential?

Only has blood supply to the peripheral 1/3


What are the only meniscal tears that should be considered for meniscal repair?

Relatively fresh longitudinal tears involving the outer 1/3 of the meniscus in a younger patient


What treatment may help the early symtpoms of degenerative meniscal tears?

Steriod injections


Which meniscal tears should be referred for arthroscopic meniscectomy?

Radial tears

Chronic tears

Irrepairable tears

Failed meniscal repair


What is the principal complaint in ACL rupture?

Rotationary instability with giving way on turning


What would indicate an ACL rupture on examination of the knee?

Knee swelling

Excessive anterior translation of the tibia on the anterior drawer test and Lachman test


What is the rule of thirds in ACL?

1/3 people compensate and are able to function well 

1/3 can avoid instability by avoiding certain activities or manoevres

1/3 do not compensate and have frequent instability or can’t get back to high impact sport


What percentage of ACL ruptures end up having reconstruction?



What does an ACL reconstruction involve?

 A tendon graft (usually patellar tendon or semitendinosis & gracilis autograft) being passed through tibial and femoral tunnels at the usual location of the ACL in the knee and secured to the bone

Intesive rehab - 3/12 - 1 year



What is the mechanism of injury in PCL rupture?

Direct blow to anterior tibia (dashboard/motorbike)  

Hyperextension injury


What are the three grades of knee ligament injury?

Grade 1: sprain - some fibres torn but macrostructure intact
Grade 2: partial tear - some fascicles disrupted
Grade 3: complete tear


What is the healing prognosis for a medial collateral ligament tear?

Usually heals well even if complete tear

Unless combined with ACL/PCL rupture


How are acute MCL tears usually treated?

Hinged knee brace


What treatment is avaliable for chronic MCL instability?

MCL tightening

Reconstruction with tendon graft


Damage to which nerve is associated with LCL rupture?

Common peroneal nerve


What is the usual treatment for LCL rupture?

Early repair or late reconstruction with a tendon graft