The past 50 years have transformed imaging of the joints. Whereas musculoskeletal imaging consisted predominantly of conventional radiography when Investigative Radiology was founded as a journal, the arrival of new imaging modalities, and above all, the introduction of magnetic resonance imaging, resulted in a paradigm shift: In addition to visualizing osseous structures, now the detailed depiction of soft tissue structures became part of routine clinical imaging and had a major impact on understanding pathophysiology and patient treatment. This article analyzes the patterns of innovation that were essential for the transformation of musculoskeletal radiology. Furthermore, state-of- the-art joint imaging is described through 9 key concepts, including both cutting-edge clinical applications as well as topics at the forefront of musculoskeletal research. Eventually, emerging trends are outlined that will likely shape musculoskeletal radiology in the next decades.
From the *Department of Radiology, Orthopedic University Hospital Balgrist; †Faculty of Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; ‡Department of Radiology, Division of Image Processing, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands; §Department of Radiology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; ∥Department of Radiology, St. John's Medical Center, Tulsa, OK; and ¶Department of Radiology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.
Received for publication February 28, 2015; and accepted for publication, after revision, March 17, 2015.
The authors report no conflicts of interest.
Correspondence to: Reto Sutter, MD, Department of Radiology, Orthopedic University Hospital Balgrist, Forchstrasse 340, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland. E-mail: email@example.com.