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Evaluation of Cartilage in the Wrist using Magnetic Resonance Imaging

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 3 ]


Wesley N. Sivak and Joseph E. Imbriglia*   Pages 170 - 177 ( 8 )


Wrist pain is a common patient complaint with a myriad of clinical conditions that can explain the underlying cause. Short of wrist arthroscopy, no technique other than formal wrist arthrotomy exists for direct examination of the hyaline cartilage coating the articular surfaces of the carpal bones. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been proven accurate in evaluating joint surfaces of large joints such as the shoulder, hip, and knee with articular cartilage surface thickness is in excess of 1 mm. However, in the carpus the thickness of the cartilage and the contours present have precluded accurate imaging. Advances in MRI technology over the last several decades are now making imaging of small joint surfaces, such as the carpus, an area worth revisiting. Herein we provide a review of these efforts with a specific focus on the evaluation of the wrist.


Wrist, cartilage, magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, arthritis, articular surface.


Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

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