What is the role of plain radiographs in the evaluation of plica syndrome?

Updated: Jul 05, 2018
  • Author: Tracy Lee Bigelow, DO; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD  more...
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Answer

Plain radiographs of the knee are appropriate in the evaluation of a patient with plica syndrome. However, they are useful only in that they help eliminate other diagnoses. [32]

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is of limited value in detecting normal or pathologic plicae about the knee. [33] It rarely demonstrates these structures conclusively (see the image below). Jee et al published one of the only papers that touts the usefulness of MRI in diagnosing medial parapatellar plicae. [34] They reported 95% sensitivity and 72% specificity with their MRI approach. It should also be noted that plica syndrome has been a major research interest at their center. To the best of the authors' knowledge, no other center has matched these numbers.

Plica syndrome. Axial MRI demonstrating abundant m Plica syndrome. Axial MRI demonstrating abundant medial plical tissue.

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