[title size=”3″]Arthroscopic Ankle Ligament Repair[/title]
Lateral ankle sprains are generally the most common injury in sports, often accounting for an estimated 20% of the disabled list of the NFL, NBA, and MLB at any point in the season. Athletes at any level, however, commonly sustain lateral ankle sprains.
Initial treatment is almost exclusively conservative, focused on anti-inflammatory control, bracing, and functional rehabilitation.
Patients with functional or mechanical instability from ligament damage, resulting in an unstable joint, can benefit from surgical repair as a safe and effective option.Â The traditional surgical approach is an openÂ BrostrÃ¶m-Gould anatomic repair technique, widely considered the conventional standard for lateral ankle stabilization.
Recently, arthroscopic techniques have been developed that allow smaller incisions, with the benefit of the associated decreased skin healing complication rates and return to activity. The Arthroscopic Lateral Ankle Ligament Repair, or ArthroBrostrum, offers the following advantages:
- Smaller incision than a traditional open surgical approach
- Potential for less pain and less swelling, as well as a more rapid recovery and faster return to sports or activities
- Generally, patients can return to sport within 10-12 weeks
- Restoration of functional ankle joint stability
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[title size=”3″]What is Ankle Instability? [/title]
The ankle joint is formed by the bones of the leg. The tibia, the larger of the two, forms the top and inside aspect of the ankle. The part of the tibia that forms the inside of the ankle joint is called the medial malleolus. The fibula, or smaller leg bone, forms the outside part of the ankle. The expansion at the base of the fibula, which forms the outside of the ankle joint, is called the lateral malleolus. The talus is the bone that sits inside the joint and allows the foot to move up and down. On the inside of the ankle, the deltoid ligament holds the medial malleolus to the talus. On the outside of the ankle, three ligaments hold the lateral malleolus to the talus. The syndesmosis is a group of four ligaments that hold the bones of the leg together. An ankle sprain is an injury to one or more of the ligaments that hold the bones of the ankle together. Chronic ankle laxity, or ankle instability, occurs when these ligaments fail to heal or heal loose.
What causes Ankle Instability?
Ankle instability results from incomplete healing of a severe sprain, or ligament damage resulting from multiple sprains of the ankle.
What are the symptoms?
Patients complain of pain with activity, recurrent sprains, and a sense of ‘giving way’ in the ankle.
How is Ankle Instability diagnosed?
Your surgeon will examine both of your ankles and compare the difference in response to stress. Stress radiographs, in which the surgeon pulls on the ankle during the x-ray, will show increased translation of the talus on the tibia.
How is it treated?
Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that support the ankle may be effective. Your surgeon may prescribe a brace to help stabilize the ankle. A cast may be applied to immobilize the ankle and allow the injured ligaments to heal.
Patients who have continued instability despite non-operative treatment may be candidates for an ankle reconstruction. Tunnels are drilled in the bones where the injured ligaments attached, and a graft is passed through the tunnels and secured. A cast is applied for 6 weeks to protect the repair.