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Ultrasound Imaging for Diagnosis of Plantar Plate Ruptures of the Lesser Metatarsophalangeal Joints: A Retrospective Case Series.

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2013 Jul 16;

Authors: Carlson RM, Dux K, Stuck RM

Tears of the plantar plate can be a source of significant forefoot pain, leading to alterations of foot function and gait. The objective of the present retrospective study was to further determine the value of ultrasound imaging in diagnosing plantar plate tears after clinical evaluation through a comparison of the ultrasound and intraoperative examination findings. Eight patients were identified who had undergone surgical intervention for a painful lesser metatarsophalangeal joint after ultrasound examination to diagnose a plantar plate pathologic entity. The intraoperative examination findings were used to calculate the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of ultrasound in the diagnosis of plantar plate tears. The sensitivity and specificity of the ultrasound examination was 1 and 0.6, respectively. The positive and negative predictive value was 0.6 and 1, respectively. An ultrasound examination in the diagnosis of lesser metatarsophalangeal joint plantar plate tears displayed comparable sensitivity in identifying the pathologic features when compared with magnetic resonance imaging, with considerably less financial cost for the examination.

PMID: 23870658 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]