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Old 07-28-2011, 04:52 PM   #1
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MRI failed to show torn ligament

What are some reasons that a torn ligament wouldn't show up on an MRI? Older machine? To much swelling? Films not bright enough?

Are there any cases where someone has had a torn ligament that didn't show on MRI? Please help me figure this out, I am losing my mind! Many thanks in advance....

 
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:33 PM   #2
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Re: MRI failed to show torn ligament

Well, with areas such as the feet, there's just a lot of parts, and sometimes the way they overlap can hide or obscure something.

The resolution of an MRI depends on the field strength, and the "open" machines are weaker than the closed ones. 0.6 T is a weak machine, 1.2 T is fairly strong, and 1.5 T or 2 T is very strong. (I'm such a geek when it comes to medical imaging technology, seriously)

But the most common reason for an MRI to miss something is incorrect reading. Happens all the time, especially when the person doing the reading has never actually met the patient and has only the most general idea of what her symptoms are. I've had it twice, once with ankle MRI that missed synovitis, once with knee x-ray that missed a small fracture.

 
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:17 PM   #3
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Re: MRI failed to show torn ligament

Quote:
Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
Well, with areas such as the feet, there's just a lot of parts, and sometimes the way they overlap can hide or obscure something.

The resolution of an MRI depends on the field strength, and the "open" machines are weaker than the closed ones. 0.6 T is a weak machine, 1.2 T is fairly strong, and 1.5 T or 2 T is very strong. (I'm such a geek when it comes to medical imaging technology, seriously)

But the most common reason for an MRI to miss something is incorrect reading. Happens all the time, especially when the person doing the reading has never actually met the patient and has only the most general idea of what her symptoms are. I've had it twice, once with ankle MRI that missed synovitis, once with knee x-ray that missed a small fracture.
thank you for your help!
Actually that machine strength thing might very well be a good thing to find out, thank you for your suggestion. I live in a fairly small town and nothing was found, but when I went to a larger city it showed up right away as being chronic, so I was very confused!

 
Old 07-29-2011, 09:26 AM   #4
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Re: MRI failed to show torn ligament

How about a 0.3T? Is there such a strength?

 
Old 07-29-2011, 10:10 AM   #5
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Re: MRI failed to show torn ligament

Yeah, I guess that could exist. Pretty weak though. Was it an open machine or a regular small tube? The open machines I've seen were 0.6 or 0.7, all the closed ones were higher.

(Now, when I say small or weak, this unit is Teslas. Even 0.1 Tesla is an immensely strong magnet. I'm just comparing one MRI machine to another.)

 
Old 08-18-2011, 12:07 PM   #6
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Re: MRI failed to show torn ligament

Ankles can be very tough when it comes to MRI's. Just think about all of the athlete you know who have had to get a second opinion. There are just a few parts of the body with so much going on that even the best technology cannot diagnose the exact precision. There is no difference in the treatment concerning full insurance and , MRI's and ankle's just have a hard time coming to a concrete conclusion.

Last edited by itchyeyelid; 08-24-2011 at 02:15 PM.

 
Old 08-18-2011, 12:57 PM   #7
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Re: MRI failed to show torn ligament

This happened to me a year ago April. I messed up my Achilles tendon. I went into my ortho's office with a huge visible bulge right where that tendon is. They x-rayed it and found nothing. He decided that the tendon was partially torn and that there was no need for an MRI and he put me in a boot and set me up for PT. I went through about 2 1/2 months of PT with little improvement in mobility and still having a fair amount of pain. I went back to see him and he wanted an MRI and a nerve induction test to see what was going on. The MRI showed nothing wrong with my leg and the nerve induction test didn't show anything really wrong with my nerves other than the fact that the muscles in that leg are nearly always spasming in some way. What he did find with the MRI was the I had herniated the disc between my L5 and S1. He kind of came to the conclusion that this was why I was still having some pain in my leg. He still thinks that the tendon was partially torn despite everything coming back negative.

Even a little over a year later I still have some problems with that leg if I where non-supportive shoes for a long time or if I do a lot of walking.

 
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ankle instability, ankle sprain, mri report interpretation, mri results, torn ligament



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