Meniscal tears: MR and arthrographic findings after arthroscopic repair

Radiology. 1991 Aug;180(2):517-22. doi: 10.1148/radiology.180.2.2068321.


Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed on 29 previously repaired menisci and one conservatively treated meniscus (total, 30 menisci). Intermediate- and T1-weighted MR sequences revealed persistent signal intensity extending to an articular surface (grade 3 signal intensity) in 27 of the 30 menisci. On T2-weighted images, seven of the 30 menisci were found to contain unequivocally higher signal intensity, defined by a full-thickness defect (grade 3 signal intensity involving two articular surfaces) increasing in signal intensity to a level equivalent to that of joint fluid. The MR imaging and arthrographic appearances of 23 of the 30 menisci were compared. Arthrographic examination revealed partial or complete healing in 13 menisci and tears in 10. The presence of grade 3 signal intensity on intermediate- and T1-weighted MR images did not reliably predict a tear seen at arthrography. Unequivocally higher signal intensity on T2-weighted images is a useful sign in the prediction of a persistent meniscal tear (sensitivity, 60%; specificity, 92%; P less than .02). Since presence of grade 3 signal intensity on intermediate- and T1-weighted images does not reliably predict a tear and unequivocal T2 increase in intensity has a sensitivity of only 60%, arthrography should be considered for assessment of the symptomatic, previously repaired meniscus.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Arthrography
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Athletic Injuries / pathology
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Knee Injuries / pathology*
  • Knee Injuries / surgery
  • Ligaments, Articular / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Male
  • Menisci, Tibial / diagnostic imaging
  • Menisci, Tibial / pathology
  • Menisci, Tibial / surgery
  • Postoperative Care*
  • Recurrence
  • Reoperation
  • Tibial Meniscus Injuries*
  • Wound Healing


  • Contrast Media