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This study assesses the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in diagnosing Stener lesions of the thumb. MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase and Cochrane CENTRAL were searched for studies using ultrasound or MRI to detect Stener lesions following suspected thumb ulnar collateral ligament injuries. The reference standard was surgical exploration or clinical joint stability. Risk of bias was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies tool. A random-effects bivariate meta-analysis was used to estimate pooled sensitivity and specificity. Forest plots were generated. Nine ultrasound (315 thumbs) and six MRI (107 thumbs) studies were included in meta-analysis (all high risk of bias). Pooled sensitivity and specificity for ultrasound were 95% and 94%, and for MRI were 93% and 98%. Both ultrasound and MRI demonstrate high diagnostic accuracy in detecting Stener lesions. Ultrasound is an appropriate first-line imaging modality.

Original publication




Journal article


J hand surg eur vol

Publication Date



MRI, Stener lesion, thumb, ulnar collateral ligament, ultrasound