Magnetic resonance imaging of the interosseous membrane of the forearm

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2001 Feb;83(2):235-8. doi: 10.2106/00004623-200102000-00011.


Background: Diagnosis of damage to the interosseous membrane of the forearm after trauma is difficult. Patients with a proximal radial fracture and associated damage to the interosseous membrane may have wrist pain in association with subluxation or dislocation of the distal radioulnar joint. Accurate identification of injury to the interosseous membrane may allow better planning of surgical treatment.

Methods: T1 and T2-weighted magnetic resonance images that were made in the axial, sagittal, and coronal planes were used to evaluate the interosseous membrane in the forearms of cadavera, volunteers, and patients. The images were evaluated subjectively by two orthopaedic surgeons and a musculoskeletal radiologist.

Results: The interosseous membrane was most consistently visualized on the axial images. Axial T2-weighted images showed the interosseous membrane clearly. The addition of fat-suppression techniques allowed abnormalities to be identified more accurately. Fast-spin-echo techniques were used to obtain data quickly and accurately.

Conclusions: The intact and disrupted interosseous membrane can be evaluated with use of magnetic resonance imaging. Axial T2-weighted fast-spin-echo images with fat suppression in the middle one-third of the forearm provide the most accurate information.

MeSH terms

  • Forearm / anatomy & histology*
  • Forearm Injuries / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Radius Fractures / pathology*