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Arthroscopic repair of chronic lateral ankle instability.

BACKGROUND: The current "gold standard'' for treatment of chronic lateral ankle instability is the Broström-Gould procedure. Most authors recommend this type of operation even after an arthroscopic inspection of the joint. We review our results with an arthroscopic method of lateral ankle ligament repair.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A method of arthroscopic lateral ligament repair with an anchor placed in the fibula is described. We used this technique on 31 consecutive patients (28 were available for followup). Twenty-one patients had work or traffic accidents, four suffered casual falls. and three had sport-related lesions. The patients were evaluated after 24.5 month average followup.

RESULTS: The average postoperative AOFAS score was 85.3 (82.3 in the workers-compensation group and 94.4 in the others) and average satisfaction was 3.8 (3.5 to workers-compensation and 4.6 for the others). Complications occurred in nine patients (29%), but only three cases had ongoing problems. We had two recurrences (another sprain without instability on the stress radiograph). Three patients had some wound healing problems and three had injuries of the superficial peroneal nerve, one of which is persistent. One patient developed a deep venous thrombosis postoperatively.

CONCLUSION: With this method, we achieved good clinical results. We had several complications but most of them were minor. It was a simple procedure with less morbidity to most patients. We believe it produced an anatomical repair of the lateral ligament with clinical and functional results similar to other techniques.

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