To determine the optimum foot position and imaging plane at magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of each ankle ligament, 10 cadaver ankles were dissected to visualize the orientation, precise attachment sites, and relationships of each ligament. Then eight cadaver ankles were studied with MR imaging and were cryosectioned in the optimum imaging planes. The ankles of 12 healthy volunteers were imaged to ensure consistency in identifying the normal ligaments. With the foot taped into full dorsiflexion of 10 degrees-20 degrees, axial imaging provided optimum views of the anterior, posterior, and inferior tibiofibular ligaments and of the anterior and posterior fibulotalar ligaments and provided an overview of the deltoid ligament. Coronal images provided full-length views of the tibiospring, tibiocalcaneal, and posterior tibiotalar parts of the deltoid ligament. With the foot taped into full plantar flexion of 40 degrees-50 degrees, axial imaging optimized visualization of the fibulocalcaneal ligament and of the tibionavicular and anterior tibiotalar parts of the deltoid ligament. Sagittal images provided the best full-length views of the spring ligament.
Keywords: Ankle anatomy; Ankle, injuries; Ankle, MR