The study is a joint research project of the Radiology and Sports Medicine departments of Balgrist University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. The researchers examined the knee joints of youth competitive alpine skiers for the presence of distal femoral cortical irregularities (DFCIs). These are typically found at the attachment site of tendons on the posterior aspect of the femoral bone. These changes were present in more than half of the athletes while significantly fewer subjects in the control group were affected. It is thus clear that these DFCIs are of mechanical origin.
«The successful research project is an example of the interdisciplinary research activities at Balgrist University Hospital.»
A DFCI is usually an incidental finding on an MRI scan of the knee and often does not cause any symptoms. However, in the past such findings were often misinterpreted as tumors. The results of the study, which was published in the renowned journal Radiology, will considerably facilitate the diagnostic evaluation of such “pseudo-lesions”. In future, follow-up investigations and invasive bone biopsies will no longer be necessary. The successful research project is an example of the interdisciplinary research activities at Balgrist University Hospital, where researchers identify clinical problems in patients and translate them into corresponding scientific questions.
Distal femoral cortical irregularity (DFCI) on Knee MRI: Increased prevalence in youth
competitive alpine skiers. Stern C, Galley J, Fröhlich S, Peterhans L, Spörri J, Sutter R.
Radiology, 2020. [Epub before print] doi:10.1148/radiol.2020192589