MRI appearance of tendon abnormalities

What is the MRI appearance of tendon abnormalities?

  • • Tendinopathy: This refers to degeneration of a tendon, which typically results from overuse. The affected tendon will be intermediate to high in signal intensity on T2 weighted images but not as high in signal intensity as with a tendon tear.
  • • Partial tear: This appears as a linear hyperintense defect within the tendon on T2 weighted images. The signal abnormality is typically very bright, similar to that of fluid.
  • • Complete tear: This results in discontinuity of the affected tendon. There is often associated retraction of the torn ends of the tendon.
  • • Paratenonitis: The Achilles tendon does not have a tendon sheath. Instead, it is surrounded by loose connective tissue, which can become inflamed. This condition is referred to as paratenonitis and can be seen as edema in the soft tissue surrounding the tendon. This is often manifested as edema within Kager’s fat pad, also known as the pre-Achilles fat pad.
  • • Tenosynovitis: This refers to an inflammatory process of the tendon sheath. The affected tendon will demonstrate fluid that completely surrounds the circumference of the tendon.

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