Use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Orthopedic Trauma and Infection in the Emergency Department

Joseph H. Huntley, Samuel R. Huntley, Dylan N. Greif, Danielle C. Marshall, Sohil Desai, Jose Rodriguez, Jean Jose

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system constitute a significant portion of medical emergencies in the United States, with traumatic injury and infection being two of the most common etiologies. Although physical examination and plain radiographs are often sufficient to guide diagnosis and treatment, there are myriad traumatic and infectious pathologies that are commonly missed or simply not detectable on plain radiographs. Advanced imaging is subsequently warranted for additional workup.Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become an increasingly used imaging modality for musculoskeletal complaints in the emergency department due to its superior visualization of soft tissues, focal edematous changes, and occult osseous insults often not visible on plain radiographs. Although multiple studies have evaluated its utility in the workup of emergency musculoskeletal complaints, there remains a dearth of literature examining the use of MRI for certain occult diagnoses.Radiologists, emergency clinicians, and orthopedic surgeons must be knowledgeable of the indications for MRI in the emergency setting, as delayed diagnosis may contribute to increased morbidity and possibly mortality. This review summarizes the use of MRI in diagnoses relating to trauma or infection among patients presenting to the emergency department with a musculoskeletal complaint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-346
Number of pages16
JournalTopics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Orthopedic Trauma and Infection in the Emergency Department'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this