Parrot beak meniscal tear

Case contributed by Dr Magdalena Chmiel-Nowak


Persistent pain and periodic swelling after trauma.

Patient Data

Age: 45 years
Gender: Male

An oblique radial medial meniscal tear of the free edge is visible at the junction between the body and posterior horn. The tear results in a marching cleft sign on sagittal images and has a curvilinear course on axial images, in keeping with a parrot beak tear.

Case Discussion

Care must be taken to describe the configuration of a meniscal tear, especially if surgery is considered. The so-called parrot beak tear is a radial-oblique tear of the meniscal free edge. Its curvilinear course may be nicely appreciated on axial images if the cross-section runs through the meniscus. On sagittal images it produces a marching cleft sign; however, this appearance is not specific as it can also be present is simple radial tears located at the junction of the meniscal body and horn. Therefore, calling a tear a parrot beak is not recommended on the base of this finding only.

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Case information

rID: 74771
Published: 6th Mar 2020
Last edited: 9th Mar 2020
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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