General practitioner diagnosis and management of acute knee injuries: summary of an evidence-based guideline
Aims To summarise evidence and key recommendations for general practitioner diagnosis and management of acute soft-tissue knee injuries, based on the New Zealand guideline.
Methods A multidisciplinary team developed the guideline by critically appraising and grading retrieved literature using the Graphic Appraisal Tools for Epidemiology, Clinical decision rules and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network. Recommendations were derived from resulting evidence tables.
Results For both diagnosis and management there is a paucity of good evidence to support diagnosis and treatment of internal derangements of the knee, hence some aspects of the guideline are guideline team consensus. Good evidence supports the use of the Ottawa Knee rules to guide decisions about the use of X-ray, and the Lachman test in diagnosing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. Evidence supports inclusion of proprioceptive training in rehabilitation programmes following ACL reconstruction and in people with ACL-deficient knees. There is good evidence that ultrasound is of little benefit, and there is no evidence that physiotherapy be routinely advocated following meniscectomy.
Conclusion This guideline provides an evidence-based framework for diagnosis and management of internal derangements of the knee following acute injury. Moreover, its development highlights significant gaps in the evidence base and identifies priorities for new research.