Magnetic resonance imaging findings in anterolateral impingement of the ankle.
OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the MR imaging findings of anterolateral impingement (ALI) of the ankle. DESIGN AND PATIENTS: Nine patients with a history of ankle inversion injury and chronic lateral ankle pain were imaged with MR imaging, and the findings correlated with the results of arthroscopy. Three additional patients with clinically suspected ALI of the ankle were also included. Ankle MR imaging studies from 20 control patients in whom ALI was not suspected clinically were examined for similar findings to the patient group. RESULTS: MR imaging findings in the patients with ALI included a soft tissue signal mass in the anterolateral gutter of the ankle in 12 of 12 (100%) cases, corresponding to the synovial hypertrophy and soft tissue mass found at arthroscopy in the nine patients who underwent arthroscopy. Disruption, attenuation, or marked thickening of the anterior talofibular ligament was seen in all cases. Additional findings included signs of synovial hypertrophy elsewhere in the tibiotalar joint in seven of 12 patients (58%) and bony and cartilaginous injuries to the tibiotalar joint in five of 12 (42%). None of the control patients demonstrated MR imaging evidence of a soft tissue mass in the anterolateral gutter. CONCLUSIONS: ALI of the ankle is a common cause for chronic lateral ankle pain. It has been well described in the orthopedic literature but its imaging findings have not been clearly elucidated. The MR imaging findings, along with the appropriate clinical history, can be used to direct arthroscopic examination and subsequent debridement.
Jordan, LK; Helms, CA; Cooperman, AE; Speer, KP
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