New First Line Screening Test for Meniscal TearsIn this report, researchers at the University of Thessaly in Greece propose a new clinical test for meniscal tears of the knee called the Thessaly test. Using two groups (injured adults and a control group), they were able to show the test can diagnose medial meniscus tears with 94 percent accuracy. Accuracy was slightly higher (96 percent) with lateral meniscal tears.
The Thessaly test is done standing barefoot first on the normal, healthy leg. The patient holds the examiner's hands for balance. The patient bends the knee of the standing leg 5 degrees and rotates the knee and body in and out three times. The test is repeated with the knee flexed 20 degrees. Then the test is done on the involved or injured leg.
Patients with a meniscal tear feel pain or discomfort along the joint line on the side of the tear. They may have a feeling of locking or catching. In this study all test results were checked and confirmed with an MRI. Accuracy was slightly less (90 percent) when there was a meniscal tear and a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament at the same time.
The Thessaly test may help find meniscal tears without the use of an MRI. This will save money and also help doctors in areas of the United States and other countries where MRI is not available.
Theofilos Karachalios, MD, et al. Diagnostic Accuracy of a New Clinical Test (The Thessaly Test) for Early Detection of Meniscal Tears. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. May 2005. Vol. 87-A. No. 5. Pp. 955-962.
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