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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1996 Nov;167(5):1217-22.

MR imaging of the tarsometatarsal joint: analysis of injuries in 11 patients.

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Department of Radiology (114), Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Diego, CA 92161, USA.



We evaluated how well MR imaging revealed ligamentous and bony abnormalities in patients with injuries of Lisfranc's joint.


We evaluated the studies of 11 patients with plantar hyperflexion injuries of the foot who underwent MR imaging in all three planes using spinecho T1-weighted, fast spin-echo T2-weighted, and short inversion time inversion recovery sequences. In four of the 11 patients, a three-dimensional spoiled gradient-recalled acquisition in the steady-state volume sequence was performed in the coronal plane. For five of the 11 patients, radiographs were available for evaluation.


Radiographs revealed tarsometatarsal joint malalignment in all five patients for whom plain films were available, metatarsal fractures in four of these patients, and tarsal fractures in the same four patients. MR imaging showed joint malalignment in all 11 patients and disruption of the Lisfranc's ligament in eight of the 11 patients. In the remaining three patients, normal Lisfranc's ligaments were associated with avulsion fractures of the second metatarsal bases or the medial cuneiform bones. On MR imaging, fractures of the metatarsal bases were evident in 10 of 11 patients. Fractures of the tarsal bones were seen in the same 10 patients.


MR imaging allows the detection of disruption of the Lisfranc's ligament as well as tarsal and metatarsal fractures and therefore may be a valuable technique in assessing patients after trauma to the tarsometatarsal joints when results of routine radiographs are not conclusive.

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