MRI is often the modality of choice in evaluating foot pain, abnormal foot alignment, swelling, foot infection, or soft tissue masses. MRI is the best option for reliably detecting stress fractures in the foot. It can also detect tendon or ligament tears, Morton's neuromas, and inflammatory or degenerative arthritis in the foot. MRI is often used in suspected foot infection or foot ulcers to evaluate for more serious bone infection, called osteomyelitis, or soft tissue abscess formation, both of which would require more aggressive therapy. In cases of soft tissue masses, intravenous contrast is given to differentiate between solid masses and cysts.

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