Author(s): McCunniff PT, Anthony CA, McDermott SE, Duchman KR, Albright JP
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Abstract PURPOSE: The goal is to introduce a reproducible exam technique that allows clinical diagnosis of symptomatic plical bands and associated synovium about the knee. We then aimed to assess the accuracy of the exam technique through arthroscopic confirmation of these tissues. Lastly, we hope to determine whether arthroscopic plicectomy and partial synovectomy is an effective treatment for alleviating the pain associated with symptomatic plica. METHODS: This retrospective study evaluated 80 consecutive symptomatic knees under the care of a single physician diagnosed with symptomatic plica and associated painful synovium from 2001-2011. These patients underwent diagnostic and therapeutic arthroscopy to verify the presence of a plica and painful synovium with plicectomy and partial synovectomy if necessary. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the sensitivity and positive predictive value of the exam. RESULTS: The medial parapatellar region was the most common location for symptomatic plica and associated synovial tissue. The exam technique described in this study had a sensitivity of 83.8\% with a positive predictive value of 98.6\% in the specific patient population described. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that while the medial plical band is the most common, there is frequently sensitive synovial tissue found in multiple locations about the knee. This study also suggests that a thorough exam technique can accurately diagnose both the plical bands as well as the sensitive synovial tissue. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II, Diagnostic Study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
This article was published in Iowa Orthop J
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports