June 2012 - Richard Rolfes, M.D., board-certified radiologist and Associate Medical Director of ProScan Imaging, was recently published in The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery. Dr. Rolfes collaborated with other recognized experts, including Wenjay Sung, DPM, AACFAS; Lowell Weil Jr., DPM, MBA, FACFAS; and Lowell Scott Weil, Sr., DPM, FACFAS, on an article titled "Diagnosis of Plantar Plate Injury by Magnetic Resonance Imaging with Reference to Intraoperative Finding" that highlights the use of magnetic resonance imaging in evaluating injury to the plantar plate.
For more details, read the article abstract below.
The objective of the present study was to assess the utility of magnetic resonance imaging in evaluating injury to the plantar plate and to determine whether conventional low-field magnetic resonance imaging is a valid tool for diagnostic evaluation. Magnetic resonance imaging scans of 45 feet in 41 patients (38 females and 3 males, with an average age of 52.1 years) were prospectively evaluated to assess the integrity of the plantar plate ligament and compared with a reference standard of intraoperative findings. The concordance of tear severity observed on magnetic resonance imaging with the intraoperative findings was also assessed using a newly proposed grading scheme for plantar plate injuries. Intraoperatively, 41 plantar plate tears and 4 intact ligaments were found. The accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value was 96%, 95%, 100%, 100%, and 67%, respectively. The clinical diagnosis of plantar plate injury was also highly accurate in our study population (41/45, 91%). Finally, we observed moderate concordance between the magnetic resonance imaging grade and surgical grade of plantar plate tear (28/45, 62%), with greater concordance occurring at higher grades. Our results have demonstrated that magnetic resonance imaging is an accurate and valid test for the diagnosing injuries of the plantar plate ligament. Given the high accuracy of the clinical findings, magnetic resonance imaging is most useful when the decision to operate will be sufficiently influenced by either a normal magnetic resonance imaging appearance of the plantar plate or the presence of a high-grade tear.