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Deltoid and Spring Ligament Complex Injury: Ultrasonography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Arthrography
Purpose or Learning Objective: Injuries to the deltoid ligament complex and spring ligaments may occur after a foot or ankle incident, such as a twist or fall. Symptoms may include pain in the foot or ankle, swelling, bruising, difficulty walking or weight-bearing on the affected foot, and, in some cases, a deformed foot. These structures are difficult to assess, even for experienced musculoskeletal radiologists.
We recommend a correct diagnostic orientation: (1) Knowing the different diagnostic methods and their usefulness: simple radiography, as well as ultrasonography (US), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and MRI arthrography; and (2) understanding the treatment options related to the identified injury.
Methods or Background: We describe the steps to perform correct front and lateral radiographs. We suggest the correct study for the deltoid and spring ligaments using US. It is essential to know the best MRI projections and sequences to optimize the diagnosis of these injuries, including MRI arthrography and the different techniques used. The various treatments must be differentiated in relation to the type of injury.
Results or Findings: Injuries to the deltoid ligament complex and spring ligament are often difficult to diagnose due to their complex anatomy and overlapping symptoms with other foot and ankle injuries. Therefore, it is important to use a combination of imaging techniques, such as radiographs, MRI, and computed tomography, to diagnose these injuries accurately.
If there is still diagnostic doubt, it is recommended to use a combination of imaging techniques and consult with other specialists, such as radiologists or foot and ankle surgeons, to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Early and accurate diagnosis can lead to better outcomes and prevent further complications.
Conclusion: If injuries to the deltoid ligament complex and spring ligaments are suspected, it is essential to know which radiologic technique is most appropriate and when to use it.
Article published online:
26 May 2023
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