Importance of positioning and technical factors in anatomic localization of sporting injuries in scintigraphic imaging

Semin Nucl Med. 2001 Jan;31(1):17-27. doi: 10.1053/snuc.2001.18740.


Sports medicine is becoming increasingly important as more people take up exercise for health and well-being. It is adding to the spectrum of acute and chronic injuries that have traditionally been seen in elite or professional athletes. Because of its high sensitivity and lesion contrast, bone scintigraphy has traditionally played a key role in the detection of such injuries. This role has been reduced in recent times by the increased use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which has functional capability, high-contrast resolution, and high-spatial resolution. Bone scintigraphy has the capability of detecting early cortical ligament avulsion and enthesopathic disease before the onset of edema or changes in bone marrow that are detected by MRI. If this capability is added to more precise anatomic localization of lesions, we may see a resurgence in its use in sports medicine. A number of techniques are presented in this article, encompassing positioning, special views, and tomographic reconstructions, that can significantly improve the accuracy of localization of scintigraphic abnormalities with reference to anatomic models or sources of cross-sectional anatomy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Elbow Injuries
  • Elbow Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Fibula / diagnostic imaging
  • Fibula / injuries
  • Foot Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Hip Injuries
  • Hip Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvis / injuries
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Tibia / diagnostic imaging
  • Tibia / injuries
  • Wrist Injuries / diagnostic imaging