Evaluation of the tarsometatarsal joint using conventional radiography, CT, and MR imaging

Nasir A Siddiqui, Mauricio S Galizia, Emad Almusa, Imran M Omar
Radiographics: a Review Publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc 2014, 34 (2): 514-31
The tarsometatarsal, or Lisfranc, joint complex provides stability to the midfoot and forefoot through intricate osseous relationships between the distal tarsal bones and metatarsal bases and their connections with stabilizing ligamentous support structures. Lisfranc joint injuries are relatively uncommon, and their imaging findings can be subtle. These injuries have typically been divided into high-impact fracture-displacements, which are often seen after motor vehicle collisions, and low-impact midfoot sprains, which are more commonly seen in athletes. The injury mechanism often influences the imaging findings, and classification systems based primarily on imaging features have been developed to help diagnose and treat these injuries. Patients may have significant regional swelling and pain that prevent thorough physical examination or may have other more critical injuries at initial posttrauma evaluation. These factors may cause diagnostic delays and lead to subsequent morbidities, such as midfoot instability, deformity, and debilitating osteoarthritis. Missed Lisfranc ligament injuries are among the most common causes of litigation against radiologists and emergency department physicians. Radiologists must understand the pathophysiology of these injuries and the patterns of imaging findings seen at conventional radiography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging to improve injury detection and obtain additional information for referring physicians that may affect the selection of the injury classification system, treatment, and prognosis.

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