As the therapeutic options for the treatment of meniscal lesions evolve, so do the challenges in both preoperative and postoperative imaging of the meniscus. Ideally, an imaging modality should accurately depict the meniscus and any meniscal lesions in such a way that the best treatment option can be chosen. It should also be able to depict the treated area, accurately assess the follow-up of treatment, and differentiate the findings associated with the treatment from recurrent lesions.
At this moment magnetic resonance (MR) is the imaging modality of choice for the virgin meniscus, the operated meniscus, and the transplanted meniscus. In all these situations, unenhanced MR imaging accurately displays the meniscus and the possible lesions. Only in patients with sutured menisci can the performance of MR be improved by intra-articular contrast administration.
Computed tomographic arthrography has a similar accuracy as MR imaging for the detection of meniscal lesion, and it is especially valuable for the evaluation of menisci in the presence of orthopaedic hardware. It remains, however, an invasive technique that requires ionizing radiation.