Soldiers’ knee pain come under scrutiny

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  • Published: Jun 28, 2015
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: MRI Spectroscopy
thumbnail image: Soldiers’ knee pain come under scrutiny

An MRI study of the knees of soldiers has been carried out to find out more about the clinical abnormalities behind anterior keen pain, which is a common condition affecting young people that often occurs with out any clear reason.

Many young people, including members of the armed forces, are troubled by pain at the front of the knee around the knee cap, even if they have not suffered any knee trauma. A team of researchers in Korea noted that the causes are not apparent from knee examinations or radiography, so undertook an MRI study to try and cast some light on the problem.

Writing in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, they compared the scans of soldiers up to 30 years old exhibiting anterior knee pain with those showing no symptoms and came away two principal conclusions.

Abnormalities were more common in the group with knee pain than the controls, especially in the extensor mechanism and the patellofemoral joint between the kneecap and the thigh bone. In particular, they observed medial plica, including torn menisci, and abnormalities of the articular geometry which were absent in the controls. Both of these could cause the symptoms of anterior knee pain.

Despite several acknowledged limitations such as the fact that other factors might not show up in MRI scans and that the position of the knee during scans should be considered, the results could prove useful to clinicians managing patients with anterior knee pain.

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