What is the role of stress radiographic films in the diagnosis of ankle sprains?

Updated: Jan 14, 2019
  • Author: Craig C Young, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Stress radiographic films may provide further assessment for ankle stability; however, patient cooperation may be limited, depending on the severity of the injury. Stress-view exams include the talar tilt and anterior drawer tests. Because of muscular guarding due to patient pain, the accuracy of these tests is dramatically increased with the use of local anesthesia. Compare the stress views with those of the uninvolved ankle in both tests. Other variables in determining the reliability of these tests include the degree of patient relaxation and cooperation, the amount of force used, the angle of ankle flexion, and the amount of laxity in the uninvolved side. (See Clinical Presentation.)

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