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Diagnostic Value of Ultrasound in Ankle Sprain

Published:August 20, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1053/j.jfas.2021.08.008

      Abstract

      The present study aimed to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of clinical tests and ultrasonography in detecting ankle ligament injuries. In this cross-sectional study, 105 patients with a history of ankle sprain were included. Ankle ligaments, including syndesmosis of ankle, as well as deltoid, calcaneofibular, anterior talofibular, and posterior talofibular ligaments were evaluated by clinical tests, ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance imaging. The sensitivity and specificity of ultrasound and clinical tests were assessed in normal, sprain, partial tear, and complete tear groups. The inter-observer reliability (Cohen's Kappa score) of the evaluated techniques with magnetic resonance imaging was assessed. Anterior drawer test showed a sensitivity and specificity of 81 and 80% in the detection of anterior talofibular ligament injuries, respectively. Ultrasonography showed 100% sensitivity and specificity in distinguishing normal anterior talofibular ligament from the torn or sprained ligament with a kappa value of 1. The sensitivity of ultrasonography in detecting normal calcaneofibular ligament and deltoid ligament was 93% and 90%, respectively. Ultrasonography was highly specific in detecting calcaneofibular ligament tear but it was not sensitive in this regard. Ultrasonography was proved reliable in determining the normal anterior talofibular ligament and calcaneofibular ligament from the torn or sprained ligament. Ultrasonography is an effective complementary tool for primary evaluation of ankle injuries, which leads to early diagnosis and efficient quality of care. Clinical tests are not reliable to rule out the ankle ligaments injury and the results should be interpreted with caution.

      Level of Clinical Evidence

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