Medial meniscus tear morphology and related clinical symptoms in patients with medial knee osteoarthritis

Masayuki Kamimura, Jutaro Umehara, Atsushi Takahashi, Toshimi Aizawa, Eiji Itoi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to examine the association between clinical symptoms and arthroscopic meniscal findings in patients with early to moderate medial knee osteoarthritis.

METHODS: One hundred and four patients (110 knees) were selected from a group of 132 patients (140 knees) aged ≥50 years who underwent arthroscopic surgery for medial meniscal tears. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (a) medial knee osteoarthritis and (b) simple medial meniscal tears extending to ≥1/4 of the meniscal margin. Subjective symptoms, location and nature of the pain, as well as the physical findings observed during initial assessment were evaluated using a standardized assessment chart. The relationship between arthroscopic meniscal findings and clinical symptoms was then analysed.

RESULTS: Isolated meniscal tears were classified into four types: radial tear of the middle segment; posterior root tear; horizontal tear of the posterior segment; and flap tear. The following symptoms were reported at significantly higher frequencies: pain on standing and a catching sensation in patients with flap tears; pain on walking and nocturnal pain on rolling over in bed in patients with radial tears of the middle segment; and popliteal pain in patients with posterior root tears.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates a relationship between the type of medial meniscal tear and characteristic clinical symptoms reported by patients with medial knee osteoarthritis. These results suggest that clinical symptoms in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee may be caused by meniscal tears. This evidence may help to better inform patients and surgeons regarding choice of treatment.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Case control study, Level III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-163
Number of pages6
JournalKnee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy : official journal of the ESSKA
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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