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Isolated lateral meniscus tear masquerading as a potential septic arthritis in a 7 year old
  1. Evelyn Patricia Murphy1,2 and
  2. Patrick J O'Toole2
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedics, University College Hospital Galway, Galway, Ireland
  2. 2Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Evelyn Patricia Murphy; evelynmurphy{at}


A 7-year-old boy presented with a 1-week history of a limp, low grade temperature and mildly elevated inflammatory markers. He sustained a fall 2 weeks ago but was relatively symptom free for a week. The inital physical exam demonstrated a knee effusion clinically, radiographs did not demonstrate any overt pathology and biochemical testing demonstrated an elevated C reactive protein of 8 mg/L. An arthroscopy was conducted, with a plan for synovial biopsies to investigate for infective versus inflammatory arthritis as a cause for the effusion. An isolated lateral meniscal tear was discovered. This was repaired using all inside technique with Smith and Nephew’s FastFix 360 (R) suture anchors. It is quite uncommon to find isolated lateral meniscus tears in this population, but the learning point demonstrates it is important to arthroscopically examine the whole knee, even while performing synovial biopsies as there may be unexpected findings.

  • meniscal tears
  • orthopaedic and trauma surgery
  • paediatric surgery
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  • Contributors EPM wrote and assimilated the information. PJO'T supervised and edited the case.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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