Megan Doherty and Rebecca Hoskins examine the method and accuracy of three tests for a common soft tissue injury of the knee
Acute meniscal knee injuries can lead to instability of the joint if they are left untreated, but clinical examinations of patients’ acutely injured knees can be challenging because of the pain and swelling involved. Although magnetic resonance imaging and arthroscopy are the gold standard investigations for the diagnosis of meniscal tears they cannot always be carried out in acute or emergency department settings. It is therefore essential that emergency care practitioners have good clinical examination skills to ensure safe and effective patient management, diagnosis, and outcomes, as well as the skills and knowledge required to carry out meniscal tear tests. This article reviews the literature on the most common examination techniques associated with acute injuries, especially meniscal injuries, to knees: joint line tenderness assessment, McMurray’s test and the Apley’s grind test. It analyses the sensitivity and specificity for each test to help practitioners understand the clinical significance of positive and negative findings.
Emergency Nurse. 23, 3, 31-36. doi: 10.7748/en.23.3.31.e1428Correspondence
This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism softwarConflict of interest
Received: 23 February 2015
Accepted: 15 April 2015
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