When a young patient arrives at a clinic complaining of knee pain with clicking or popping, a meniscal tear is often the culprit.
Explore this issueDecember 2017
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“In young [people], there’s a pretty classic presentation of meniscal tear, with clicking and other mechanical symptoms, because the tear rubs up against different tissues,” says Jeffrey Katz, MD, MSc, a rheumatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery at Harvard University Medical School in Boston. “It turns out, that’s not really the pathology we see in older people who have a meniscal tear.”
This is, in part, what makes a diagnosis of meniscal tear in patients 45 and older difficult and what led Dr. Katz and colleagues at Brigham and Women’s, Harvard Medical School and the Boston University School of Public Health to lead a study aimed at better diagnosing meniscal tears in older patients.1