Posttraumatic disorders of the ankle are a common cause of chronic pain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has proved to be highly useful in clarifying a wide spectrum of underlying lesions which frequently cannot be detected on radiographs. Even if the assessment of the lateral collateral ligaments of the ankle is not regarded as a primary indication for MRI, it allows the diagnosis of subchondral contusions or cysts, anterolateral impingement syndrome, sinus tarsi syndrome, osteochondral fractures and osteochondrosis dissecans of the talus (ODT),which may not be detected with other imaging modalities. A 42 year old female patient suffered from persisting non-specific pain following an inversion trauma 4 months previously. MRI enabled the detection of an ODT which was not diagnosed on plain radiographs and which was verified upon arthroscopy. A superficial cartilage defect, as shown arthroscopically,was not delineated using MRI. Our observations indicate that MRI may be useful in patients with unclear persisting pain following ankle trauma and that it may contribute to the early detection of lesions which require surgical intervention.