Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Inclusion criteria relating to the study design were not reported. The review included both retrospective and prospective studies evaluating decision rules; no further details were given. No details of the design of studies evaluating physical examination and MRI were reported.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies evaluating the accuracy of history, physical examination and imaging tests were eligible for inclusion. The included studies evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of physical examination or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The decision rules used to inform when to order a plain radiography film were Pittsburgh knee rules, Weber and colleagues' rule, Ottowa knee rules, and Fagan and Davies' rule. The clinical examination techniques evaluated were the Lachman Test, Anterior Drawer Test and Pivot Test.
Reference standard test against which the new test was compared
Inclusion criteria relating to the reference standard were not reported. The included studies used arthroscopy or arthrotomy as the reference standard.
Participants included in the review
Studies of people with acute knee pain, defined as beginning less than one week before the person seeks medical attention, were eligible for inclusion. No details of the participants in the included studies were given.
Outcomes assessed in the review
To be eligible for inclusion, the sensitivity and specificity, or sufficient data for their calculation, had to be reported.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.