Pittsburgh knee rules

The Pittsburgh knee rules are a clinical decision-making strategy for determining which patients require radiographic imaging for knee pain.

A patient with knee pain qualifies for a radiograph if:

  • fall or blunt trauma
    • <12 years old or >50 years old
    • inability to take four steps, regardless of age

The original formulation of the Pittsburgh knee rules stated 100% sensitivity and 79% specificity for detection of fracture 1.

The Pittsburgh knee rules are often thought of in the context of the Ottawa knee rules. Some believe the Pittsburgh knee rules offer increased specificity 2.

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Article Information

rID: 34705
Section: Approach
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Pittsburgh rules
  • Pittsburgh decision rule

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