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Radiographics. 2015 Jan-Feb;35(1):179-99. doi: 10.1148/rg.351130062.

High-resolution US and MR imaging of peroneal tendon injuries.

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From the Departments of Medical Imaging (M.S.T., L.H.G.) and Orthopaedic Surgery (M.M.C., L.D.L.), University of Arizona Health Network, 1501 N Campbell Ave, PO Box 245067, Tucson, AZ 85724; Department of Radiology, Southern Arizona VA Health Care Service, Tucson, Ariz (J.N.A.); and Department of Radiology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Ill (J.D.R.).


Injuries of the peroneal tendon complex are common and should be considered in every patient who presents with chronic lateral ankle pain. These injuries occur as a result of trauma (including ankle sprains), in tendons with preexisting tendonopathy, and with repetitive microtrauma due to instability. The peroneus brevis and peroneus longus tendons are rarely torn simultaneously. Several anatomic variants, including a flat or convex fibular retromalleolar groove, hypertrophy of the peroneal tubercle at the lateral aspect of the calcaneus, an accessory peroneus quartus muscle, a low-lying peroneus brevis muscle belly, and an os peroneum, may predispose to peroneal tendon injuries. High-resolution 1.5-T and 3-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with use of dedicated extremity coils and high-resolution ultrasonography (US) with high-frequency linear transducers and dynamic imaging are proved to adequately depict the peroneal tendons for evaluation and can aid the orthopedic surgeon in injury management. An understanding of current treatment approaches for partial- and full-thickness peroneal tendon tears, subluxation and dislocation of these tendons with superior peroneal retinaculum (SPR) injuries, intrasheath subluxations, and peroneal tendonopathy and tenosynovitis can help physicians achieve a favorable outcome. Patients with low functional demands do well with conservative treatment, while those with high functional demands may benefit from surgery if nonsurgical treatment is unsuccessful. Radiologists should recognize the normal anatomy and specific pathologic conditions of the peroneal tendons at US and MR imaging and understand the various treatment options for peroneal tendon and SPR superior peroneal retinaculum injuries. Online supplemental material is available for this article.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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