Ankle MRI is a layered scan of the ankle area based on the fixation of changes occurring in the cells of the body under the influence of electromagnetic waves in a constant magnetic field. It is used to diagnose inflammatory processes, structural abnormalities, traumatic injuries and tissue destruction in the ankle joint area. It allows to identify pathological processes and volumetric formations in bones, joints, ligaments and surrounding soft tissues. It can be used in preparing patients for arthroscopy. Sometimes it requires the use of contrast.
Ankle MRI is used in traumatology and some other fields of medicine to diagnose diseases and injuries of bones, joints, ligaments, vessels, nerves and soft tissues of the ankle area. The study is used to confirm fractures, dislocations and subluxations, ligament ruptures and hematomas. The procedure is prescribed for already diagnosed tumor formations, when it is necessary to clarify the exact localization and spread of the process for subsequent surgical intervention. MRI makes it possible to reliably assess the condition of the joints and the integrity of the ligamentous apparatus of the ankle joint, diagnose arthrosis and arthritis with the establishment of the severity of the disease.
On MRI, anomalies of the structure of the ankle joint are visible. In addition, the method allows you to get visual access to such hard-to-reach places as distal tibial syndesmosis, where fractures and various formations are possible, which are not always diagnosed by X-ray examination. On MRI, it is possible to detect joint pathologies that occur in Bekhterev’s disease and other nosologies. Joint changes in systemic diseases are an indication for the study of both joints. The method is also used to prepare patients for arthroscopy when preliminary determination of the anatomical structure of the joint is necessary in order to avoid errors during complex invasive manipulation. In addition, ankle MRI is prescribed for any unclear pain, the cause of which is not detected by other diagnostic methods.
A common contraindication to MRI is the presence in the patient’s body of an artificial pacemaker, metal pins, dental crowns, other metal structures and complex electronic devices. Currently, there are MRI machines, the effect of the magnetic field of which does not extend to the whole body, so the question of the need and possibility of MRI in the presence of such structures is decided by the attending physician and radiologist individually. In severe somatic condition, the study is not prescribed. If the patient has a mental disorder or epilepsy, the procedure is possible with the use of anesthesia, or the choice of another diagnostic method is recommended.
The first trimester of pregnancy is a contraindication for MRI, at a later date, the procedure is prescribed with caution. In childhood, it is also recommended to avoid MR studies, although the risk is not clinically proven. The technique with the use of a contrast agent is not used in people suffering from chronic renal failure. In the presence of allergic reactions in the patient’s history, the procedure is possible with negative skin tests. The extreme need for ankle MRI makes the study permissible after preliminary hyposensitization with corticosteroids, but the decision remains with the diagnostician.
Ankle MRI with contrast is performed after evaluation of kidney function. The intravenous contrast injection system is installed in advance or the substance is injected in a jet approximately 20 minutes before the start of the procedure.
Methodology of conducting
Ankle MRI lasts 30-40 minutes. The patient is in the center of the tomograph in the supine position. If this is an open-type device, the subject lies motionless on the table, but only the area under study is located in the field of the tomograph. If it is necessary to study both ankle joints, as in the case of using several modes, the duration of the procedure increases. Complications of MRI may be associated with allergic reactions (extremely rare) or with the presence of metal objects in the patient’s body that heat up and shift under the influence of a magnetic field. The results of the study are prepared by a radiologist within a day or several hours, if the procedure was carried out urgently. The data is printed out and can be recorded on a digital medium.