Emergency and Trauma of the Ankle: Emergency and Trauma in MSK Radiology
Ankle injuries are very common among patients presenting to emergency departments, affecting patients of both sexes at any age. Management of ankle injuries can be challenging for orthopedic surgeons, given the large range of osteochondral, tendinous, and capsuloligamentous injuries that can occur. An accurate imaging evaluation is therefore of paramount importance to identify the degree and type of injury correctly and to direct the patient to the correct therapeutic management. Radiologic evaluation is the most appropriate initial imaging modality. Cross-sectional imaging (computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging) has a secondary role in an emergency, primarily as a tool for preoperative planning and as a problem-solving technique in patients with suspected occult fractures or soft tissue injuries. We review the role of imaging in the evaluation of patients with ankle trauma and the main imaging findings occurring in such injuries.