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Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

MRI Not Needed For Achilles Rupture

By June 28, 2013

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Rupture of the Achilles tendon is a common injury, that often leads to surgery.  Making the diagnosis of an acute Achilles tendon rupture is not difficult, but often an MRI is ordered to confirm the diagnosis.  This is probably not necessary.

Making the diagnosis of an acute Achilles tendon rupture is usually not difficult.  Most often, a middle-age (40s), part-time athlete feels a sudden snap in the back of the leg.  Often they feel as though they have been kicked, but turn to find no one behind them!  On examination, your doctor can feel the tear in your tendon, and see if there is a connection between the calf muscles and the foot.  If not, you have rupture your Achilles tendon, and no MRI is necessary.

If for any reason, the diagnosis is unclear, or if there are complicating circumstances or concern for other injuries, an MRI may be helpful.  But for the vast majority of acute Achilles ruptures, an MRI is not a part of standard diagnosis.

Related: Achilles Tendon Rupture | Achilles Surgery

Source: MRI is Unnecessary for Diagnosing Acute Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Clinical Diagnostic Criteria

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