Which imaging studies are performed in the evaluation of an ankle sprain?

Updated: Jan 14, 2019
  • Author: Craig C Young, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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The following radiologic studies may be used to evaluate ankle sprains:

  • Plain radiography: Guided by the Ottawa Ankle Rules to diagnose ankle or foot fractures

  • Stress-view radiography: May provide further assessment for ankle stability; accuracy of study increases with use of local anesthesia

  • Computed tomography scanning: May be indicated for imaging of soft tissues or for bone imaging beyond radiography; useful for evaluating osteochondritis dissecans and stress fractures

  • Magnetic resonance imaging: May be useful to assess a suspected syndesmotic or high ankle sprain or if osteochondrosis or meniscoid injury is suspected in patients with a history of recurrent ankle sprains and chronic pain [5, 6]

  • Ankle arthrography: May be useful for determining capsular damage and the number of ankle ligaments damaged

  • Bone scanning: To detect subtle bone abnormalities (eg, stress fracture, osteochondral defects) and syndesmotic disruptions

See Workup for more detail.

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