Key words Bone bruises
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Although bone bruises have been well described in the knee joint, little is known about their presence in the ankle joint. The present study attempted to document the association of bone bruises with lateral ankle sprains. Magnetic resonance (MR) images were obtained from 60 consecutive patients with lateral ankle sprains between April 1994 and June 1995. There were 29 men and 31 women, aged on average 25 years (range 12–68 years). All of the patients presented within 3 weeks of the sprain. MRI examinations were done within 3 weeks of the injury in 15, after 3–6 weeks in 21, and after 6–8 weeks in 24 cases. There were 28 first-time sprains, while 32 patients had suffered one or more sprains before the most recent one. Plain radiographs showed no evidence of osseous abnormality. Following the conventional MRI examination, magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) was done by injecting 2 mM of gadolinium diethylene triamine penta-acetic acid (DTPA) into the joint under fluoroscopic control, and the same images were obtained again to search for ligamentous lesions. A total of 11 bone bruises were detected in 10 ankles. In this group of patients, there were 5 men and 5 women aged on average 27 years (range 12–50 years). Four MRI examinations were done within 3 weeks, while six were done 3–6 weeks after the injury. One ankle which had suffered one previous sprain and complete ruptures of anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) and calcaneofibular ligament (CFL) had two lesions (talus and navicula). In another recurrent case with complete ATFL and CFL ruptures, the lesion was found in the calcaneus. The remaining eight lesions were in the talus in eight ankles. The ligamentous lesions in these ankles included three complete ATFL and CFL ruptures, and four isolated ATFL ruptures; in one ankle there were no ligamentous lesions. The location of talar bruises was medial in six and lateral in three ankles. The incidence of bone bruises associated with isolated ATFL lesions was 16% (4/25). With combined ATFL and CFL lesions the incidence was 50% (5/10). The incidence of ankles with bone bruises and first-time and recurrent sprains was 7% (2/28) and 25% (8/32), respectively. The occurrence of bone bruises should be kept in mind following ankle sprains. Their clinical significance in the long term remains to be determined.
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