The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of a single event of painful popping in the presence of a posterior root tear of the medial meniscus in middle-aged to older Asian patients.
We conducted a retrospective review of medical records of 936 patients who underwent arthroscopic surgeries for an isolated medial meniscus tear between January 2000 and December 2010. There were 332 men and 604 women with a mean age of 41 years (range, 25 to 66 years). The accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of a painful popping sensation for a posterior root tear of the medial meniscus were calculated.
Arthroscopy confirmed the presence of posterior root tears of the medial menisci in 237 of 936 patients (25.3%). A single event of a painful popping sensation was present in 86 of these 936 patients (9.1%). Of these 86 patients with a painful popping sensation, 83 (96.5%) were categorized as having an isolated posterior root tear of the medial meniscus. The positive predictive value of a painful popping sensation in identifying a posterior root tear of the medial meniscus was 96.5%, the negative predictive value was 81.8%, the sensitivity was 35.0%, the specificity was 99.5%, and the diagnostic accuracy was 77.9%.
A single event of painful popping can be a highly predictive clinical sign of a posterior root tear of the medial meniscus in the middle-aged to older Asian population. However, it has low sensitivity for the detection of a posterior root tear of the medial meniscus.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, therapeutic case series.
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Published online: January 31, 2013
Accepted: October 25, 2012
Received: January 28, 2012
The authors report the following source of funding in relation to this article: Supported by a 2013 Inje University research grant.
© 2013 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.