Alternating radiolucent and radiodense metaphyseal lines can be seen with a number of conditions and the differential diagnosis is wide:
growth arrest lines
rickets: especially those on prolonged treatment, e.g. vitamin D dependent rickets
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas are a type of rhabdomyosarcoma and account for 20-40% of all rhabdomyosarcomas 1-2.
Unlike embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas, which are more common, these tumours occur in slightly older individuals, typically 10-25 years of age 1.
Alveolar soft part sarcomas are rare, highly vascular, deep soft tissue malignancy that is classically seen in the lower extremities of young adults. They account for <1% of all soft tissue sarcomas.
There is a slight female predilection in patients less than 30 years old 1.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons classification of periprosthetic hip fractures divides the femur into three separate regions:
level I: proximal femur distally to the lower extent of the lesser trochanter
level II: 10 cm of femur distal to level I
level III: femur distal to level...
Amniotic band syndrome (ABS) comprises of a wide spectrum of abnormalities, all of which result from entrapment of various fetal body parts in a disrupted amnion. Due to the randomness of entrapment, each affected individual has the potential to form a unique deficit.
Amphiarthroses are a functional class of joint that permit a small amount of movement under normal conditions.
symphyses (secondary cartilaginous joints)
The term amputation refers to the disconnection of all or part of a limb from the body. Specifically amputation is defined as removal of the structure through a bone. This is in contrast to disarticulation, which is removal of the structure through a joint.
When due to trauma, traumatic amputat...
The Amsterdam wrist rules are validated clinical decision rules for determining which patients require radiographic imaging (wrist radiography) for acute wrist pain following trauma. The initial study evaluated 882 patients and were published in 2015 1. The decision rules assessed different clin...
Amyloid arthropathy is the extracellular deposition of the fibrous protein amyloid within the skeletal system. It is a skeletal manifestation of amyloidosis and may involve either the axial skeleton (especially the cervical spine) or the appendicular skeleton.
Amyoplasia congenita is a syndrome characterized by multiple specific congenital joint contractures, associated with substitution of muscular tissue by fibrosis and adipose tissue.
The estimated incidence is at 1: 10000 live births. There may be a higher prevalence with twin preg...
The anal sphincter is divided into an internal and external anal sphincter. It surrounds the anal canal.
Internal anal sphincter
continuation of inner rectal muscle
thickened, circular muscle fibres, up to 5 mm thick
composed of visceral muscle
External anal sphincter
An anaplastic rhabdomyosarcoma is a subtype of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, characterised by extensive anaplastic cells seen throughout the tumour 1.
The anatomical snuff box is a surface anatomy feature. It appears as a triangular depression on the lateral surface of the wrist on full extension of the thumb.
medial: tendons of the extensor pollicis longus
lateral: tendons of the
extensor pollicis brevis
The anatomy curriculum is one of our curriculum articles and aims to be a collection of articles that represent the core anatomy knowledge for radiologists and imaging specialists.
Head and neck anatomy
Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
The anconeus is a small muscle in the posterior compartment of the arm at the lateral aspect of the elbow. It has little functional significance but should be differentiated from the variably present anconeus epitrochlearis at the medial aspect of the elbow.
origin: lateral epicondyle ...
Anconeus epitrochlearis is an accessory muscle at the medial aspect of the elbow. It is also known as the accessory anconeus muscle and should not be confused with the anconeus muscle which is present at the lateral aspect of the elbow.
The muscle may be unilateral but has been f...
The Anderson and D'Alonzo classification is the most commonly used classification of fractures of the odontoid process of C2.
fracture of the upper part of the odontoid peg
above the level of the transverse band of the cruciform ligament
usually considered stable...
Andersson lesions refer to an inflammatory involvement of the intervertebral discs by spondyloarthritis.
Rheumatic spondylodiscitis is a non-infectious condition that has been shown to occur in about 8% of patients with ankylosing spondylitis, as detected at radiography.
Aneurysmal bone cysts (ABC) are benign expansile tumour-like bone lesions of uncertain aetiology, composed of numerous blood-filled channels, and mostly diagnosed in children and adolescents.
Aneurysmal bone cysts are primarily seen in children and adolescents, with 80% occurring ...
Angiolipomas (also sometimes known as haemangiolipomas, vascular lipomas, and fibromyolipomas) are rare soft tissue tumours composed of mature adipocytes and vessels. They can occur essentially anywhere and can be subclassified into infiltrating and non-infiltrating variants 1.
Please refer to...
Angiosarcoma of bone is a malignant vascular tumour of bone. These are rare and account for less than 1% of malignant bone tumours. The majority of these tumours arising in bone are primary; however, a tiny percentage is either radiation-induced or associated with bone infarction
The angle of the longitudinal arch is one of the angles drawn on the weightbearing lateral foot radiograph. The angle is formed between the calcaneal inclination axis and a line drawn along the inferior edge of the 5th metatarsal.
The normal angle is 150-170°.
In pes cavus, as the height of th...
Anisotropy is an artefact encountered in ultrasound, notably in muscles and tendons during a musculoskeletal ultrasound. In musculoskeletal applications, the artefact may prompt an incorrect diagnosis of tendinosis or tendon tear.
When the ultrasound beam is incident on a fibrillar structure as...
Ankle and foot radiography is the plain radiographic investigation of the distal tibia and fibula, the tarsal bones and metatarsals. Radiographic examination of the foot and ankle are often requested together, however, there is a plethora of literature to aid in the correct request of x-ray exam...
Ankle AP view is part of a three view series of the distal tibia, distal fibula, proximal talus and proximal metatarsals.
the patient may be supine or sitting upright with their leg straighten on the table
the foot is in dorsiflexion
the toes will be pointing directly toward...
Ankle fractures account for ~10% of fractures encountered in trauma, preceded only in incidence by proximal femoral fractures in the lower limb. They have a bimodal presentation, involving young males and older females. Ankle injuries play a major part in post multitrauma functional impairment t...
The ankle horizontal beam lateral view is a modified lateral view part of a three view ankle series; this projection is used to assess the distal tibia and fibula, talus, navicular, cuboid, the base of the 5th metatarsal and calcaneus.
The horizontal beam lateral is a highly adaptable projectio...
There are several ankle impingement syndromes. They are characterised by limited range of motion and pain on attempting specific movements about the joint and often in a load-bearing position. They have variable aetiology and pathogenesis. They are best classified according to location.
The ankle joint (also known as the tibiotalar joint or talocrural joint) forms the articulation between the foot and the leg. It is a primary hinge synovial joint lined with hyaline cartilage.
The ankle joint is comprised of the tibia, fibula and talus as well as the supporting l...
Ankle lateral view is part of a three view ankle series; this projection is used to assess the distal tibia and fibula, talus, navicular, cuboid, the base of the 5th metatarsal and calcaneus.
patient is in a lateral recumbent position on the table
the lateral aspect of the kn...
Ankle AP mortise view is part of a three view series of the distal tibia, distal fibula, talus and proximal metatarsals. It is the most pertinent projection for assessing the articulation of the tibial plafond and two malleoli with the talar dome, otherwise known as the mortise joint of the ankl...
Ankle radiographs are frequently performed in emergency departments, usually, after trauma, the radiographic series is comprised of three views: an anteroposterior, mortise, and a lateral. They may be performed to assess degenerative or inflammatory arthritis as well as to look for the sequela o...
The ankle radiograph checklist is just one of the many pathology checklists that can be used when reporting to ensure that you always actively exclude pathology that is commonly missed; this is particularly helpful in the examination setting, e.g. the FRCR 2B rapid-reporting.
The ankle series is comprised of an anteroposterior (AP), mortise and lateral radiograph. The series is often used in emergency departments to evaluate the distal tibia, distal fibula, and the talus; forming the ankle joint.
See approach to an ankle series.
Ankle radiographs are p...
This is a basic article for medical students and other non-radiologists
An ankle x-ray, also known as ankle series or ankle radiograph, is a set of two x-rays of the ankle joint. It is performed to look for evidence of injury (or pathology) affecting the ankle, often after trauma.
Ankylosing spondylitis (less commonly known as Bechterew disease and Marie Strümpell disease) is a seronegative spondyloarthropathy, which results in fusion (ankylosis) of the spine and sacroiliac (SI) joints, although involvement is also seen in large and small joints.
There is a...
Thoracic manifestations of ankylosing spondylitis can be varied. For a general discussion of the condition refer to the parent article on ankylosing spondylitis.
It can affect the tracheobronchial tree and the lung parenchyma, and the disease spectrum includes:
upper lobe fibrocystic changes -...
Annular fissures are a degenerative deficiency of one or more layers that make up the annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral disc.
Many authors prefer the term annular fissure over annular tear, as the latter seems to imply acute injury 1,2. In the setting of severe trauma with di...
The annulus fibrosus surrounds the nucleus pulposus and together they form the intervertebral disc.
The annulus comprises 15 to 20 collagenous (type I) laminae which run obliquely from the edge of one vertebra down to the edge of the vertebra below. The direction of the fibres al...
Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric disorder characterised by distorted self-perception of body weight leading to starvation, obsession with remaining underweight, and an excessive fear of gaining weight. One in five patients with anorexia dies, due to complications of the disease.
The anteater nose sign refers to an anterior tubular elongation of the superior calcaneus which approaches or overlaps the navicular on a lateral radiograph of the foot. This fancifully resembles the nose of an anteater and is indicative of calcaneonavicular coalition 1,2.
History and etymolog...
The anterior abdominal wall forms the anterior limit of the abdominal viscera and is defined superiorly by the xiphoid process of the sternum and costal cartilages and inferiorly by the iliac crest and pubic bones of the pelvis.
The anterior abdominal wall has seven layers (from ...
Anterior angulation of the coccyx may be a normal variant but poses a diagnostic challenge for those considering coccygeal trauma.
Four types of coccyx have been described:
type I: the coccyx is curved slightly forward, with its apex pointing caudally (~70%)
type II: the coccy...
Anterior ankle impingement (AAI) syndrome is the result of chronic repetitive trauma with impingement of the anterior tibia against the talus.
Clinical features of anterior ankle impingement syndrome include painful and limited dorsiflexion and anterior joint line swellin...
A mnemonic that refers to the order of the ankle tendons that pass under the extensor retinaculum of the ankle running from medial to lateral is:
Tom Hates Dick
T: tibialis anterior
H: extensor hallucis longus
D: extensor digitorum longus
History and etymology
The phrase Tom, Di...
The anterior centre-edge angle, also known as the vertical-centre-anterior (VCA) angle, is a radiographic measurement of the anterior coverage of the femoral head by the acetabulum. It is used in assessing acetabular dysplasia and pincer type of femoroacetabular impingement.
The anterior compartment of the arm is one of the two compartments of the arm.
A sheath of deep fascia surrounds the arm, the brachial fascia. Two intermuscular septa (medial and lateral) extend from it to attach to the humerus at the medial condylar ridge and lateral supracondylar ridge, respe...
The forearm is divided into the anterior compartment and the posterior compartment by the deep fascia, lateral intermuscular septum and the interosseous membrane between the ulna and radius.
The eight muscles located in the anterior compartment of the forearm can be divided into three...
The anterior compartment of the leg is one of the four compartments in the leg between the knee and foot. Muscles within this compartment primarily produce ankle dorsiflexion and toe extension.
The leg is separated into anterior, lateral, superficial posterior and deep posterior compartments by...
The anterior compartment of the thigh is one of the three compartments in the thigh. Muscles within this compartment primarily produce hip flexion and knee extension.
The thigh is separated into anterior, posterior and medial (adductor) compartments by intermuscular septa and surrounded by the ...
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the two cruciate ligaments that stabilise the knee joint.
The ACL arises from the anteromedial aspect of the intercondylar area on the tibial plateau and passes upwards and backwards to attach to the posteromedial aspect of the lateral ...
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) avulsion fracture or tibial eminence avulsion fracture is a type of avulsion fracture of the knee. This typically involves separation of the tibial attachment of the ACL to variable degrees. Separation at the femoral attachment is rare 5.
It is mor...
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ganglion cysts, commonly referred to simply as ACL cysts, along with ganglion cysts arising from the alar folds that cover the infrapatellar fat pad, make up the vast majority of intra-articular ganglion cysts of the knee.
Anterior cruciate ligamen...
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) mucoid degeneration, along with tears and anterior cruciate ligament ganglion cysts, is a relatively common cause of increased signal within the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The appearance can mimic acute or chronic interstitial partial tears of the ACL. How...
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears are the most common knee ligament injury encountered in radiology and orthopaedic practice.
The ACL is the most commonly disrupted ligament of the knee, especially in athletes who participate in sports that involve rapid starting, stopping, and ...
Anterior hip dislocation is much less common than a posterior hip dislocation. It constitutes for only 5-18% of all hip dislocations.
While the posterior dislocation is often associated with fractures, the anterior dislocation is mostly an isolated injury 1.
It can be clas...
The anterior or frontal fontanelle (or fontanel) is the diamond-shaped soft membranous gap at the junction of the coronal and sagittal sutures. It persists until approximately 18-24 months after birth, after which it is known as the bregma. The fontanelle normally measures between 0.6-3.6 cm (me...
Anterior glenolabral injuries are common in the setting of anterior shoulder dislocation and comprise a number of closely related entities.
bony Bankart lesion
anterior labroligamentous periosteal sleeve avulsion (ALPSA)
glenolabral articular disruption (GLAD)
Causes of anterior hip pain include:
pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS)
inflammatory arthropathy (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis)
The anterior humeral circumflex artery is a vessel arising from the axillary artery at the proximal part of the arm. It is smaller in size relative to the posterior humeral circumflex artery.
origin: branch of the axillary artery at the proximal part of the arm
location: proximal arm...
The anterior humeral line is key to demonstrating normal elbow alignment and should be used whenever reading a paediatric elbow radiograph to exclude a subtle supracondylar fracture.
A line drawn down the anterior surface of the humerus should intersect the middle third of the capitel...
The anterior inferior iliac spine (AIIS) is bony prominence on the anterior border of the ilium forming the superior border of the acetabulum.
Attachments include the Iliacus, origin of straight head of the rectus femoris, and also the proximal ileofemoral ligament (Y-ligament or ligament of Bi...
Anterior inferior iliac spine (AIIS) avulsion injuries are one of the six main types of pelvic apophyseal avulsion fractures. Subacute or chronic avulsion injuries can be mistaken for a pseudotumour.
As with many pelvic avulsion injuries, they most often occur in adolescents (mos...
The anterior interosseous nerve also known as the volar interosseous nerve arises from the median nerve in the forearm, and supplies the flexor pollicis longus, pronator quadratus and the lateral portion of flexor digitorum profundus.
The anterior interosseous nerve conti...
Anterior interosseous nerve syndrome (AINS), also known as Kiloh-Nevin syndrome, is one of three common median nerve entrapment syndromes; the other two being pronator teres syndrome and the far more common carpal tunnel syndrome.
AINS is a rare entrapment syndrome, with comparati...
There are three anterior knee fat pads 1:
infrapatellar fat pad (of Hoffa)
fills the space between the patella ligament and the anterior intercondylar area of the tibia 2
posterior suprapatellar (prefemoral or supratrochlear) fat pad
anterior suprapatellar (quadriceps) fat pad
fills the spa...
Anterior knee pain is common with a variety of causes which can be divided anatomically using a layered approach1 from superficial to deep:
Superficial soft tissues
quadriceps tendinosis / partial tear
An anterior labroligamentous periosteal sleeve avulsion (ALPSA) lesion is similar to a Bankart lesion, in that it too is usually due to anterior shoulder dislocation and involves the anterior inferior labrum.
It is often the result of chronic injury rather than acute dislocation;...
The anterior lateral malleolar artery is the counterpart to the anterior medial malleolar artery, supplies the lateral aspect of the ankle.
Origin and course
branch of anterior tibial artery
runs posterior to the tendons of extensor digitorum longus and fibularis tertius to th...
The anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) runs along the anterior surface of the vertebral bodies (firmly united to the periosteum) and intervertebral discs (attaching to the anterior annulus). It ascends from the anterosuperior portion of the sacrum inferiorly to the become the anterior atlanto-...
Anterior medial malleolar artery is the counterpart to the anterior lateral malleolar artery, and supplies the medial aspect of the ankle.
Origin and course
branch of anterior tibial artery
arises approximately 5 cm proximal to the ankle
passes posterior to the tendons of exte...
The anterior capsular insertion, unlike the posterior aspect of the shoulder joint capsule which has a constant scapular attachment along the margins of the glenoid labrum, inserts a variable distance from the labrum.
The capsular insertions are classified as follows:
type I: at or very near t...
Anterior shoulder dislocation is by far the commonest type of dislocation and usually results from forced abduction, external rotation and extension 1.
Broadly speaking, anterior shoulder dislocations occur in a bimodal age distribution. The first, and by far the more prevalent a...
Anterior subluxation of the cervical spine, also known as hyperflexion sprain, is a ligamentous injury of the cervical spine.
Patients present with severe, focal neck pain. There may be neurological symptoms due to spinal cord injury.
Anterior subluxation of t...
The anterior superior iliac spine is an important bony surface landmark and is the prominence is the most anterior part of the ilium. It can be palpated at the lateral end of the inguinal fold. Attachments include the inguinal ligament, sartorius and depending on which resource you read, the ten...
Anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) avulsion injuries typically occur in athletes during forceful muscular contraction. ASIS is the site of attachment for sartorius and tensor fascia latae muscles.
ASIS avulsion, like other pelvic avulsion injuries, is a stable fracture.
The anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) is part of the lateral collateral ligament complex of the ankle. Its role is to stabilise the talus. It is also the weakest of the lateral collateral ankle ligaments.
The ATFL is an intracapsular flat two-banded ligament that arises from ...
Anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) injury is the most common of the ligament injuries that can occur as part of the lateral ligament complex injuries 2. The injuries can comprise either soft tissue tears, avulsion fractures or both.
ATFL injuries typically occur with an inversion i...
The anterior tibial translocation sign or anterior drawer sign (a.k.a. anterior translation of tibia) is seen in cases of complete rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament, and refers to anterior translocation (anterior tibial subluxation) of the tibia relative to the femur of >7 mm 1.
The anterior tibial veins, continuations of the venae comitantes of the dorsalis pedis artery, leave the anterior compartment between the tibia and fibula and pass through the proximal end of the interosseous membrane. They unite with the posterior tibial veins to form the popliteal vein at the ...
The anterolateral ligament of the knee (ALL) is a ligament that is thought to aid with rotational stability of the knee joint. Some think that its presence (or reconstruction) may result in better outcomes from ACL stabilisation surgery 2. The ligament has also been implied in Segond fractures 3...
The term anterolisthesis refers to anterior displacement (forward slip) of a vertebral body relative to the one below.
Its severity can be graded by the Meyerding classification and its aetiology classified according to the Wiltse type.
Implanted antibiotic beads are a form of microbiological treatment inserted during orthopaedic procedures to aid with the treatment of chronic infection. They are also used as a local treatment for osteomyelitis.
The beads are radiopaque, thus lending themselves to visualisation on all imaging ...
Antley-Bixler syndrome (ABS) (or trapezoidocephaly-synostosis syndrome) is a rare, autosomal dominant or recessive condition characterised by craniosynostosis and extra-cranial synostoses. Mid-facial hypoplasia is also common.
Very rare condition with only 50 cases described in th...
The AO classification of proximal humeral fractures, along with the Neer classification, is one of the most frequently used systems for classifying proximal humeral fractures.
The AO classification divides proximal humeral fractures into three groups, A, B and C, each with subgroups, and place...
The AO classification of sacral injuries aims to simplify and universalise the process of classifying sacral injuries and improve interobserver and intraobserver reliability.
The AO sacral classification is broken into three subsections that follow a hierarchical structure similar to the AO cla...
The AO classification of subaxial injuries aims to simplify and universalise the classification of subaxial cervical spine fractures and improve interobserver and intraobserver reliability.
The AO subaxial cervical spine injury classification involves four criteria based on morphology, facet in...
The AO classification of thoracolumbar injuries aims to simplify and universalise the process of classifying spinal injuries and improve interobserver and intraobserver reliability 3.
The AOSpine thoracolumbar classification system consists of only three classes of thoracolumbar injuries. Unlik...
The AO classification of upper cervical injuries aims to simplify and universalise the process of classifying upper cervical injuries and improve interobserver and intraobserver reliability.
Injuries are based on location specific patterns and divided into:
type 1: occipital condyle and occipi...
The AO Spine classification systems are a group of anatomically based of imaging and clinical combined injury classification systems of spinal trauma designed to be a simple and reproducible method of describing injury patterns.
At the time of writing (Oct 2018), the 4 published classification ...
Apert syndrome (also known as type I acrocephalosyndactyly) is a syndrome that is predominantly characterised by skull and limb malformations.
The estimated incidence is 1 case per 65-80,000 pregnancies.
increased paternal age has been proposed 6
Apophyseal avulsion fractures of the pelvis and hip are relatively common among physically active adolescents and young adults.
Pelvic and hip apophyseal injuries typically occur in the 14 to 25 year age range.
Kicking sports, such as soccer, and gymnastics are frequen...
The apophyses (singular: apophysis) are the normal bony outgrowths that arise from separate ossification centres and eventually fuse with the bone in time. The apophysis is a site of tendon or ligament attachment, as compared to the epiphysis which contributes to a joint.
When unfused, they can...