MR Imaging of post‑traumatic tendon and ligament injuries of the thumb

Document Type : Original research articles


Diagnostic Radiology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt


Background: Magnetic resonance imaging is an optimal method for evaluating soft-tissue trauma in the thumbs, clarifying its fine anatomy which is crucial for identifying pathologic entities, presence of a tear, and the extent of tendon retraction.
Objectives: This study was done to emphasis the MRI role in assessment of trauma-related injuries of the thumb and subsequently positively affect the surgical decisions.
Patients and methods: This retrospective study included (50) cases referred by orthopedic surgeons for MR imaging of the thumb following injury. Radiographs were performed to assess tendon & ligaments injuries.
Results: Regarding tendon affection ,it was found in 43 cases  with flexor tendon affection in 36 patients out of 43 and extensor tendon affection in 7  patients ,Regarding the level of tendon tears (20 cases)  ,in 55% of cases, it was at the level of MCP  .Ulnar collateral ligament injury was found in 8 cases while radial collateral ligament injury was found in 5 cases  associated with subluxation of the MCP . Muscle injury was found in 23 cases while tears was found in 7 cases. Volar plate injury was reported in only one case. Bone marrow edema was detected in 9 cases.
Conclusion: MRI is an essential technique to obtain a correct pre-surgical diagnosis. It provides a great assessment of the tendons and ligaments tear by whether partial or complete, or bony fragment avulsion and the extent of retraction in cases of complete tear.


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