Imaging of the Painful Forefoot

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Imaging of the painful forefoot has advanced rapidly in the previous 20 years, with the development of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and dynamic musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSKUS). Each modality has its strengths and weaknesses, as outlined later. Diagnoses are made at the time of the MSKUS scan and images are taken to demonstrate any abnormality, whereas MR diagnoses are made from a predetermined series of image sequences. Musculoskeletal ultrasound has the advantage of clinical input, whereas MR images are more anatomical and show areas MSKUS cannot, such as joints and bone marrow. Whatever the modality used, a comprehensive request form with all relevant clinical information will aid radiologists in their assessment. Plain x-rays are also considered mandatory for all patients being imaged.

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