The lateral view: A screening method for knee trauma

Adarsh Verma, Albert Su, Alex M. Golin, Brian O'Marrah, Judith K. Amorosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives. The authors performed this study to evaluate whether any one conventional radiographic view is sufficient as a screening method in the detection of acute knee trauma. Materials and Methods. The authors prospectively assessed the efficacy of a single conventional radiograph of the knee in the detection of signs of knee fractures in 214 consecutive adults with acute knee trauma. The evaluated efficacy parameters included specificity, sensitivity, negative predictive value (NPV), and positive predictive value. The percentage reduction in the need for additional conventional radiographs was also calculated. Results. Fifty-three of the 214 patients (24.8%) had a knee fracture. The sensitivity of the single lateral view in the detection of knee fractures was 100% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 94.3, 100). The lateral view of the traumatized knee was normal in 143 patients (66.8%). The probability of not having a fracture if the lateral view was normal (NPV) was also 100% (95% CI = 97.9, 100). The need for additional radiographs was reduced 67%. Conclusion. A single lateral view as a screening tool for knee fractures has a very high sensitivity and NPV. Because more than 65% of the patients had a normal lateral view in this study, there can be a considerable amount of savings in terms of radiology services for these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-397
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


  • Fractures
  • Knee


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