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Sports Medicine

Don`t understand MRI report of my knee and ba



I recently had an MRI done on my left knee and I am confused. Can you tell me what this means? The report reds as follows:

Findings: There is at least degenerative signal of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus.

The lateral meniscus appears to bre intact.

The anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, extensor mechanism, lateral collateral ligament complex, medial collateral ligament appears to be within normal limits.

A minimal joint effusion is identified. No Bakers cyst is noted.

There is grade III and grade IV chondromalacia patella identified.

Subchondral cystic change of the trochlea and patella are noted.

Spurring of the medial and lateral femoral condyles are identified. This is consistent with mild osteoarthrosis.

Impression: 1. At least degenerative signal of posterior horn of medial meniscus. 2. Minimal joint effusion. 3. Grade III and IV chondromalacia patella. 4. Mild osteoarthrosis as described above.

Thank you


Firstly, there is "wear and tear" of the cartilage in the knee called the meniscus.  This is only present on the back side of the cartilage on the inner aspect of the knee rather than the outside aspect.  There is no evidence of a tear of the cartilage. 

Secondly, there is extra fluid within the knee joint that is usually an indication of irritation or inflammation within the knee.  (This is likely from the chondromalacia patella). 

Thirdly, you have an irritation and degeneration of the cartilage on the under surface of the kneecap. 

Fourthly and finally, there are mild arthritis changes on sides of the distal femur.  There exist some cyst changes of the bone underlying the areas of arthritis. 

As always, for further treatment and management of these findings, I recommend that you continue your relationship with your physician.  I hope this helps.  Good luck.

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Response by:

Charles Webster, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati