Sports injury of the anterior talofibular ligament: how to enhance the reliability of the musculoskeletal ultrasound

The anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) is being affected in 65% of the cases in consequence of supination trauma and therefore one of the most prevalent injuries in sports. In many hospitals the standard diagnostic method in assessing the injury is by performing: clinical examination, X-ray, and MRI. An ATFL stress test, while performing a musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSKUS), can assess the ATFL much easier, quicker, non-invasive, more cost efficient and with equal accuracy.

Kristen et al. (2019) conclude that MSKUS “is a valuable diagnostic tool for physicians visualizing the lateral ankle ligaments as it reflects increasing reliability of measurements with examiner experience and skill”.

They also conclude “that investment in training of MSKUS evaluation in early medical career ought to be sustained and developed”.

Furthermore, their research has shown that the patient positioning described by the European Society of Musculoskeletal Radiology seems to be least affected by examiner experience and skill, further deeming this position reliable for MSKUS examination.

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