Plantar fascia (PF) disorders commonly cause heel pain and disability in the general population. Imaging is often required to confirm diagnosis. This review article aims to provide simple and systematic guidelines for imaging assessment of PF disease, focussing on key findings detectable on plain radiography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Sonographic characteristics of plantar fasciitis include PF thickening, loss of fibrillar structure, perifascial collections, calcifications and hyperaemia on Doppler imaging. Thickening and signal changes in the PF as well as oedema of adjacent soft tissues and bone marrow can be assessed on MRI. Radiographic findings of plantar fasciitis include PF thickening, cortical irregularities and abnormalities in the fat pad located deep below the PF. Plantar fibromatosis appears as well-demarcated, nodular thickenings that are iso-hypoechoic on ultrasound and show low-signal intensity on MRI. PF tears present with partial or complete fibre interruption on both ultrasound and MRI. Imaging description of further PF disorders, including xanthoma, diabetic fascial disease, foreign-body reactions and plantar infections, is detailed in the main text. Ultrasound and MRI should be considered as first- and second-line modalities for assessment of PF disorders, respectively. Indirect findings of PF disease can be ruled out on plain radiography.
• PF disorders commonly cause heel pain and disability in the general population.
• Imaging is often required to confirm diagnosis or reveal concomitant injuries.
• Ultrasound and MRI respectively represent the first- and second-line modalities for diagnosis.
• Indirect findings of PF disease can be ruled out on plain radiography.
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- Imaging of plantar fascia disorders: findings on plain radiography, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging
Anna Guja Draghi
Gioia Ori Belometti
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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