The Usefulness of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Diagnosis of Anterolateral Impingement of the Ankle

LCDR Doug Duncan MD, CAPT Tim Mologne MD, CDR Hans Hildebrand MD, Mark Stanley MD, LT Richard Schreckengaust MD and CAPT Dave Sitler MD

The purpose of this study is to assess the sensitivity and specificity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the diagnosis of anterolateral impingement of the ankle and to assess the most helpful sequence in making the diagnosis. Twenty-four patients who had undergone ankle arthroscopy were chosen. Twelve patients had arthroscopically documented anterolateral impingement, and 12 patients with no impingement on arthroscopy served as controls. Two musculoskeletal radiologists and an orthopedic surgeon, blinded to the operative diagnosis, retrospectively reviewed selective MRI images in the sagittal, axial, and coronal planes. The axial images were felt to be most helpful in making the diagnosis. The physicians felt that the sagittal images were helpful in 67%, 83%, and 100%, respectively. MRI is a useful tool that can aid the clinician in the diagnosis of anterolateral impingement of the ankle. T1 sagittal images demonstrating displacement of the normal fat signal anterior to the fibula by scar can be useful and help to confirm the diagnosis.

The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, Volume 45, Issue 5 , September-October 2006, Pages 304-307

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