Friday, October 10, 2008

MRI interpretation

One of the high school football players where I part-time coach sent me a question regarding his MRI reading. While I am not a radiologist I was glad to help him interpret this statement:

The anterior talofibular ligament is thickened with decreased T2 signal intensity representing chronic sprain.
The rest of the MRI was "normal" as per the report/player.Quick anatomy lesson... we are talking about the ankle here...
Anterior means the front... talofibular ligament is how most ligaments are named, putting together the two bones that the ligament is connecting, in this case the talus (half of the major ankle joint) and the fibula (the skinny bone on the outside of your leg)
Decreased T2 signal intensity representing chronic sprain... T2 refers to the type of MRI taken; on T2 water/liquid shows up white representing well vascularized structures like a healthy ligament (as seen in the MRI above, the red arrow is pointing to a normal ATF ligament - that is a view of a slice from above most likely). When there is "decreased signal intensity" this means the ligament has been without vascularization or fluids for a while (chronic) and may have become more solid than normal.

Lastly a sprain is damage to a ligament (strains refer to muscles) and comes in varying degrees of damage. It seems our football player has not had any major tear/rupture, so play ball!

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