MRI of the foot — what shows?


Foot of the lower limb, which is small in size, performs an important function during walking while carrying the load of the entire body. The foot has a complex structure, it is composed of twenty-six bones. In addition to the skeleton, it is a complex system of ligaments and muscles. Small dimensions of the anatomical structures are not always available x-ray study, during which only well-visualized bone structures. There are cases when the diagnosis of pathological processes necessary to perform MRI of the foot.

Magnetic resonance imaging, performing serial scanning structures with a pitch not exceeding five millimeters, to diagnose any pathology of both bone and soft tissues.

Contraindications to the procedure

  • Claustrophobia and other mental disorders that do not allow the patient to remain in a stationary position for thirty minutes. This contraindication is not absolute and can be overcome with the help of a magnetic scanner with open side surfaces, and the examination under anesthesia.
  • The presence of metal structures, both inside and on the surface of the human body. Design of metals that do not interact with the magnetic field, is not a contraindication, but if the implants are on the foot or lower leg, the result of the study may be distorted.
  • Electrical devices inside the human body (pacemakers, internal hearing AIDS).
  • It is not recommended to study in the first trimester of pregnancy.

How to prepare for the exam?

Training MRI of the foot is not required, if the study is planned with the contrast, it is necessary to refrain from eating for five hours.

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You must choose clothes that contain no metal parts (buttons, hooks, rivets), and remove all jewelry and dentures.

What diseases can be seen on MRI?

  • Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Along the entire plantar surface of the foot fascia is a dense connective tissue, which performs a supportive and protective function for the metatarsal bones and joints. Inflammation caused by the stretch of the fabric, can also be identified in the MRI of the foot. One of the hallmarks of chronic inflammation is a heel spur is a hooked growth of the heel bone.

  • Cancer processes. MRI of the foot reveals tumors even at the earliest stage of the process, they are visible as darkening of the tissue segment. The use of contrast allows us to differentiate the malignant and benign tumor growth, to establish the structures involved in the process and a description of the pathology will help determine the possibility of surgical treatment.
  • Infectious diseases of bones and soft tissues. Abscesses of the soft tissues visualized on MRI in the form of a cavitary mass with a clear outline. Cellulitis MRI of the foot will reveal the degree of spread of purulent process and the involvement of bones and joints. Can determine magnetic resonance scanning and destruction of bone tissue in osteomyelitis.
  • Destruction of the metatarsal joints and finger joints (arthrosis and arthritis) and bursitis (inflammation of periarticular bags calcaneus and Achilles tendon) may not be available to interpret on a conventional x-ray because of its small size. MRI allows to reveal changes in the metatarsal joints and small joints of the fingers, and to determine the extent of their defeat.
  • Flat feet. Is the longitudinal (congenital flat foot) and transverse (acquired flatfoot). There are three degrees of severity of the flatfoot, which differ in the level of deformation of the metatarsal, heel joints and the joint of the first finger. Accurately shows the degree of deformation of the metatarsal part of the flatfoot MRI of the foot. The need for a particular type of examination of the flatfoot (MRI, CT, radiography, podography) the examination is determined by the orthopedic trauma.
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  • Disease of the North or epiphysis calcaneus. Despite the name, this disease is typical for young athletes under the age of fifteen years. The cause of the disease becomes persistent microtrauma of the calcaneus, leading to inflammation of the nucleus of ossification in it and manifested during the MRI specific features.
  • Congenital malformations of the structure of the fingers and the heel bone can be identified during Mr-imaging of the foot.
  • Diabetic foot. Angiopathy, as a complication of diabetes, often manifested by chronic ulcers on the foot. The disease can affect the fingers, but may spread to the metatarsal part of the foot. Often lose not only applies to soft tissue, but involves in the process of the metatarsal and tarsal bones and bones of toes and even heel bone. Diabetic foot often leads to amputation to solve the question about the possibility to save the leg used magnetic resonance imaging of the foot.
  • Foreign body. MRI of the foot allows us to determine the location and define surgical access in the presence of a foreign body. Do not apply magnetic resonance imaging for the diagnosis of metallic foreign bodies.