Acute, traumatic knee effusions

Diagnostic value of history taking and physical examination to assess effusion of the knee in traumatic knee patients in general practice. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2009 Jan;90(1):82-6. PMID: 19154833

In this study of patients with traumatic knee injuries of less than 5 weeks duration, the prevalence of effusion was 31% by magnetic resonance imaging. Almost three quarters of patients with an effusion had meniscal or ligament tear.

The accuracy of ballottement was disappointing: sensitivity and specificity 83% and 49%, respectively. The accuracy of self-reported swelling was similar, with sensitivity and specificity 80% and 45%, respectively.

The negative predictive value of ballottement was 86% for patients in this study with a pretest probability of 31% (click here to adjust the pretest probability).

This study has been added to

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