Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Internal Derangements and Other Knee Pathologies in Adult Nigerians

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Bukunmi Michael Idowu
Babalola Ishmael Afolabi
Stephen Olaoluwa Onigbinde
Oghenetejiri Denise Ogholoh
Nkem Nnenna Nwafor
Tolulope Adebayo Okedere


Knee Joint Diseases, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Menisci, Cruciate Ligaments, Internal Derangement


Background: Knee joint pathologies/injuries are one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints in adults worldwide. The aetiologies of knee joint disorders are diverse. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a sophisticated method of detecting and characterizing knee pathologies. This study was conducted to document the clinical presentation and MRI patterns of knee joint abnormalities in a group of adults in Lagos, Nigeria, and to juxtapose it with reports from other climes.

Methodolody: A retrospective hospital-based analysis of the knee MRI of 158 adult Nigerians was conducted in a single health facility. The clinical history and knee MRI findings were extracted, analyzed, and documented. Statistical significance was established at P≤0.05.

Results: There were 158 participants comprising 92 males (58.2%) and 66 females (41.8%) between the ages of 18 and 79. The mean age of the males was 44.75 ± 14.41 years, while that of the females was 47.76 ± 13.72 years (P = 0.19). A history of previous trauma was elicited in 135 (85.4%) participants. Eighty-two right knees (51.9%) and 76 left knees (48.1%) were examined. The dominant joint pathologies detected include effusion (77.2%), medial meniscopathy (48.1%), tibial abnormalities (46.2%), femoral abnormalities (46.2%), patella abnormalities (46.2%), anterior cruciate ligament disorders (37.3%), lateral meniscopathy (27.2%), medial collateral ligament disorders (22.2%), and popliteal (Baker’s) cysts (15.8%). ACL abnormalities were significantly more prevalent in male subjects. Knees with ruptured ACL had significantly more joint effusion and injuries to the medial meniscus, lateral meniscus, posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial retinacular ligament (MRL), femur, tibia, and fibula. There was no significant difference in the frequency of abnormalities between the right and left knees.

Conclusion: Joint effusion, medial meniscopathy, osseous abnormalities (tibia, femur, patella), ACL abnormalities, lateral meniscopathy, and MCL abnormalities, in decreasing order, were the most frequent pathologies in the knee joints evaluated.

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