The diagnostic accuracy of the Thessaly test
Meniscal tears are one of the most common injuries encountered by medical specialists and physical therapists especially amongst the sports population. The diagnosis is based on detailed history taking and physical examination. The McMurray test and the joint-line tenderness test are often used for the diagnosis. In 2005, another potentially useful clinical test for the detection of meniscal tears was introduced, namely the Thessaly test. The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the Thessaly test alone or in combination with the McMurray test.
Data form 593 patients with a knee pathology who underwent an arthroscopy and a complete physical examination were analyzed. 83% of the participants were confirmed to have a meniscal tear based on the arthroscopic examination. The Thessaly and McMurray tests showed comparable diagnostic accuracy when used in isolation; sensitivity 64% versus 70% and specificity 53% versus 45% respectively. Their diagnostic accuracy did not increase when used combined.
Thus, the Thessaly test alone or in combination with the McMurray test, does not seem particularly useful in determining the presence or absence of meniscal tears.
> From: Goossens et al., J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 45 (2015) 18-24. All rights reserved to Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy®.. Click here for the Pubmed summary.