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A Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology

Official Journal of the Piedmontese-Ligurian-Lombard Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology
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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2008 April;59(2):109-13

language: English

Anterior knee pain: what is the diagnosis?

Valeo M., Clerici Bagozzi F., Costanzo G. D., Bellacozza G.

Locomotor Apparatus Science Department University “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy


Aim. The painful syndromes of the anterior knee compartment are caused by a lot of factors. This work compars different search methods, because the aim of the study was to evaluate their real contribution to the diagnosis and to the following therapeutic planning.
Methods. The study enrolled 600 patients with anterior knee pain; at the beginning patients were divided by sex and then randomized into three groups with different age ranges. Every patient was analysed by non-intrusive search methods such as radiography and magnetic resonance (MR) and also by arthroscopy. After the analyses eight main causes of anterior knee pain were found: meniscal lesions, condropathies of the thigh-bone and of the kneecap, bursitises, tendinitises, osteochondritises, synovial plicae, Hoffa’s Disease, and the so-called “growth pains”.
Results. Results allowed to notice that in the group of patients aged 6-14 years the so-called “growth pains” are prevalent, in the group of patients aged 14-30 years meniscal pathologies are prevalent and in the last one, including patients aged 30-60 years osteoarthritises of the thighbone and of the kneecap are prevalent. Moreover, Hoffa’s Disease and the synovial plicae pathologies are more frequent than expected.
Conclusion. Comparing results it is possible to affirm that the anterior compartment’s knee pain is caused by a lot of factors and that the use of helpful diagnostic methods is very important. In fact, the MR is the most important examination for a quick and correct diagnosis.

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