A crucial component of a radiologist's job is to create reports that are clinically useful. As no specific guidelines exist regarding reports of knee MR examinations, our objective is to determine the preferences of orthopedic surgeons with regard to such reports.
METHOD AND MATERIALS
We surveyed the Arthroscopy Association of North America. 135 members responded to our web-based survey. The survey consisted of 20 multiple choice questions. Three questions requested multiple answers, and three questions provided an option for comments.
67% of the surveyed orthopedists always read knee MR reports provided by radiologists. 23% frequently reviewed knee MR reports to ensure findings correlated with the physical examination. 30% relied on their own image interpretation. 35% preferred reports to be organized by structures (bones, menisci, etc.). Most of the remaining orthopedists chose reports to be organized either by compartments or by abnormal vs. normal findings. 43% favored standard reports with findings and impression sections. 29% preferred the impression to precede the findings section. Cartilage abnormalities were the most frequent finding identified during arthroscopy but not described in the knee MR report. Almost all respondents found description of the type of meniscal tear to be essential. 43% believed that their radiologists were not aware of their preferences in knee MR reports. 20% were unsure whether their radiologists were aware of their preferences. 69% reported they contacted the interpreting radiologists regarding discrepancies between knee arthroscopy and MR reports. 70% reported that their radiologists did not routinely review arthroscopy reports to identify discrepancies. The surveyed orthopedists emphasized the variability of interpretation by different radiologists.
Orthopedic surgeons have specific expectations with regard to knee MR reports. Most preferred a standard report format. The most frequent arthroscopic findings not reflected in knee MR reports were cartilage abnormalities. Results of this study indicate that radiologists are often unaware of the knee MR reporting preferences of their referring orthopedic surgeons.