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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2010 June;63(2):255-64

language: English, Italian

Role of low-field magnetic resonance imaging in the detection of floating meniscus sign as consequence of sport-related trauma

Francavilla G. 1, Iovane A. 2, Sorrentino F. 2, Candela F. 2, Sutera R. 2, Sanfilippo A. 3, Francavilla V. C. 3, D’Arienzo M. 3

1 Sports Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
2 Department of Radiological Sciences – DIBIMEL, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
3 Department of Surgical and Oncological Sciences, Orthopedic and Traumatological Clinic, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy


Aim. To assess the role of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging performed with a low-field scanner in the detection of floating meniscus sign as a consequence of sports-related trauma.
Methods. Retrospective review of 2436 MR knee examinations executed, in 18 months, using a low-field scanner of 0.2T, was performed by three musculoskeletal radiologists of varying experience. Diagnostic criteria to define the presence of a complete floating meniscus were as codified in the literature. If the thickness of the fluid signal band between the meniscus and tibial plateau was comprised in the range ≥3 mm and ≤5 mm the floating meniscus was defined as partial. Patients with the sign were called to learn what treatment had been performed; in those submitted to surgery the surgical chart was evaluated.
Results. Floating meniscus was detected in 8/2436 cases (0.25%), 5 complete, arthroscopically confirmed, and 3 partial; in 5/8 cases the lateral meniscus was involved.
Associated lesions were observed, ligamentous in 7/8 cases and meniscal in 2/8 cases; a bone bruise of varied extension was identified in 3/8 cases.
Conclusion. Floating meniscus sign could be detected at MR imaging although performed using a low-field scanner. Its presence should be carefully identified, especially in severe traumatic events, as it has some important prognostic implications.

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