The aspiration test: an arthroscopic sign of lateral meniscus posterior horn instability.
- Human Motion, Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine and Digital Methods
The suspensory mechanism of the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus (PHLM) is an anatomically complex structure including the popliteomeniscal fascicles, the meniscotibial posterior root attachment and the meniscofemoral ligaments. Damage to one or several of these structures - either through knee trauma or congenital abnormalities-can result in an instability of the PHLM that may lead to lateral knee pain, locking sensations or lack of rotational control of the knee (e.g. after anterior cruciate ligament injuries). The diagnosis of PHLM instability is complex due to the lack of reliable clinical tests and imaging signs. Direct visual dynamic inspection via arthroscopy thus remains the gold standard. However, arthroscopic probing of the PHLM is not always reliable and the precise quantification of the amount of subluxation of the PHLM can be difficult. Therefore, the main objective of this report was to describe a quick and easy arthroscopic screening test called "the aspiration test" in order to help surgeons to detect PHLM instability. During the exploration of the lateral tibiofemoral compartment with the knee kept in the figure of 4 position, the arthroscope is placed in the antero-lateral portal and directed towards the lateral tibiofemoral compartment. The aspiration test is then performed by activating the aspiration of the 4-mm shaver when located in the intercondylar notch. In case of a PHLM instability, an excessive displacement of the PHLM is observed. After repair, a second aspiration test allows to verify that the PHLM has been stabilized.