Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 65–68 | Cite as

Pseudo-tear appearance of the posterior tibiotalar ligament on fluid-sensitive sequences

  • Michel De MaeseneerEmail author
  • Maryam Shahabpour
  • Leon Lenchik
  • Steven Provyn
  • Filip De Ridder
  • Nico Buls
  • Inneke Willekens
Medical Imaging



This study aimed at studying the MR imaging appearance of the tibiotalar ligament in asymptomatic volunteers.

Materials and methods

Fourty-two ankles were imaged on a 3T MR system using proton density weighted images with fat saturation (TR, 2969 ms; TE 30 ms; NA, 2; slice thickness, 2.5 mm). Subjects with acute ankle conditions or history of previous trauma were not included in the study group. Images were obtained in the three orthogonal planes. The posterior tibiotalar ligament was assessed on coronal imaging, by consensus of two radiologists. The signal intensity was recorded as isointense, hypointense, or hyperintense relative to muscle. The morphology of the ligament was classified as homogenous or striated. Descriptive statistics were obtained.


There were 8 men and 14 women with a mean age of 24.7 years (range 19–43 years). The ligaments were classified as hyperintense in 30/42 (70%) of ankles and isointense in 9/42 (21%) of ankles. A striated appearance was seen in 34/42 (80%) of ankles.


The posterior deep deltoid ligament is commonly hyperintense. It is usually striated although it can be homogeneously hyperintense. This appearance simulates a tear.


Ankle MR Ligaments 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel De Maeseneer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maryam Shahabpour
    • 1
  • Leon Lenchik
    • 2
  • Steven Provyn
    • 3
  • Filip De Ridder
    • 1
  • Nico Buls
    • 1
  • Inneke Willekens
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUZ BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Radiologic SciencesWake Forest Medical SchoolWinston-SalemUSA
  3. 3.Department of Experimental AnatomyVUB BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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