Objective: To determine whether referral to MRI by the general practitioner (GP) is non-inferior to usual care (no access to MRI by GPs) in patients with traumatic knee complaints regarding knee-related daily function. Methods: This was a multicentre, non-inferiority randomised controlled trial with 1-year follow-up. GPs invited eligible patients during or after their consultation. Eligible patients (18-45 years) consulted a GP with knee complaints due to a trauma during the previous 6 months. Patients allocated to the MRI group received an MRI at (median) 7 (IQR 1-33) days after the baseline questionnaire. Patients in the usual care group received information on the course of knee complaints, and a referral to a physiotherapist or orthopaedic surgeon when indicated. The primary outcome measure was knee-related daily function measured with the Lysholm scale (0 to 100; 100=excellent function) over 1 year, with a non-inferiority margin of 6 points. Results: A total of 356 patients were included and randomised to MRI (n=179) or usual care (n=177) from November 2012 to December 2015. MRI was non-inferior to usual care concerning knee-related daily function during 1-year follow-up, for the intention-to-treat (overall adjusted estimate: 0.33; 95% CI -1.73 to 2.39) and per-protocol (overall adjusted estimate: 0.06; 95% CI -2.08 to 2.19) analysis. There were no differences between both groups in the amount of patients visiting other healthcare providers. Conclusion: MRI in general practice in patients with traumatic knee complaints was non-inferior to usual care regarding knee-related daily function during 1-year follow-up. Trial registration number: NTR3689.

Additional Metadata
Keywords diagnosis, general practice, knee injuries, primary care
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2017-098932, hdl.handle.net/1765/109596
Journal British Journal of Sports Medicine: an international peer-reviewed journal of sport and exercise medicine
Citation
Swart, N.M, Oudenaarde, K, Bierma-Zeinstra, S.M, Bloem, H.J.L. (Hans J.L.), van den Hout, W.B, Algra, P.R. (Paul R.), … Luijsterburg, P.A.J. (2018). Does MRI add value in general practice for patients with traumatic knee complaints? A 1-year randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Sports Medicine: an international peer-reviewed journal of sport and exercise medicine. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2017-098932