J Korean Foot Ankle Soc.  2021 Mar;25(1):1-5. 10.14193/jkfas.2021.25.1.1.

Are Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings of Ankle Instability Always Correlated with Operative and Physical Examination Findings?

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea


Physical examination and surgical findings and symptoms are often inconsistent with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings when diagnosing chronic ankle lateral ligament instability, and confirmed surgical findings are used as the gold standard in most clinical studies. Anterior drawer testing is considered unreliable because normal findings are highly variable, and its accuracy ranges from 50% to 100%. Furthermore, radiographic stress imaging, such as in anterior drawer stress view, is performed under manual stress or using a stress device, and its findings also vary widely and confuse when interpreting stress views. The average accuracy of MRI findings is around 85% (range, 66%~91.7%), and thus, cannot be used as a primary indicator for surgery. For patients with suspected lateral ankle ligament instability, based on symptoms and physical examination findings, MRI may be useful for identifying lesions in ankle joints and for differentiating them from other conditions.


Joint instability; Magnetic resonance imaging; Sensitivity and specificity; Lateral ligament ankle; Correlation of data
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