Elbow Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Imaging Anatomy and Evaluation

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The elbow is a complex joint. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often the imaging modality of choice in the workup of elbow pain, especially in sports injuries and younger patients who often have either a history of a chronic repetitive strain such as the throwing athlete or a distinct traumatic injury. Traumatic injuries and alternative musculoskeletal pathologies can affect the ligaments, musculotendinous, cartilaginous, and osseous structures of the elbow as well as the 3 main nerves to the upper limb, and these structures are best assessed with MRI.

Knowledge of the complex anatomy of the elbow joint as well as patterns of injury and disease is important for the radiologist to make an accurate diagnosis in the setting of elbow pain. This chapter will outline elbow anatomy, basic imaging parameters, compartmental pathology, and finally applications of some novel MRI techniques.

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