Anatomic Relationship and Imaging Relevance of the Perforating Branches of the Peroneal Vessels to the Anterior Talofibular Ligament

Yara Younan, Matthew Uriell, Walter Carpenter, Monica Umpierrez, Aparna Kakarala, Jean Jose, Douglas D. Robertson, Ty Subhawong, Adam Daniel Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Patients frequently present to the emergency department after ankle injuries, and the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) is commonly damaged. Musculoskeletal ultrasound (US) can help to make a rapid diagnosis. There is a paucity of literature describing techniques to image the ATFL with US, and the complex ankle anatomy and potential pitfalls make imaging challenging. Objective: Our aim was to estimate prevalence of perforating branches (PBs) of the peroneal vessels and determine their most frequent position relative to the ATFL. If these vessels are located in a predictable position at the level of the ATFL, they may serve as a sonographic landmark for the correct imaging plane. Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of 105 ankles were reviewed to determine the PB prevalence and location at the ATFL. Inter-observer agreement was determined. Additionally, 16 ankles from 8 asymptomatic subjects were scanned using a high-frequency linear transducer and PB prevalence and location were noted. Results: By MRI, PBs were detected in 85% of the ankles and 93% of ankles after consensus. In 73% of cases with agreed PB visualization, vessels assumed a medial position with respect to the ATFL. By US, PBs could be seen in 100% of cases, with the arterial PB seen in 81% of cases and assuming a medial position in 88%. Conclusions: PBs are often present, have a predictable course, and may be useful to help optimize US probe positioning when assessing the ATFL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 21 2016

Keywords

  • Anterior talofibular ligament
  • Artery
  • ATFL
  • Emergency medicine
  • MRI
  • Peroneal
  • Radiology
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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