Imaging of the Pediatric Knee

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The knee joint is commonly injured in the young athlete. This article discusses the common injury patterns around the knee that are unique to this patient population. Pediatric patients have relative weak points at their physes and apophyses that result in different forces on ligaments and bones during injury compared with adults. Common pathologic findings seen on imaging include patellar and patellar tendon injury, physeal fractures, osteochondral abnormality, ligament tears, and meniscal injury. Imaging studies are also performed to evaluate pediatric patients after surgical knee injury repair, and radiologists should be familiar with certain pediatric-specific knee repair techniques and their imaging appearances. A thorough knowledge of normal and pathologic imaging findings of the pediatric knee allows the radiologist to make important diagnostic and management contributions.

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