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7th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Lisbon - 4-7 June, 2005


Aims: Lateral ligament complex injuries are a common cause of chronic ankle instability. It has been found that functional and mechanical instability of the ankle joint can respond to arthroscopic debridement of the ankle alone and that not all structurally unstable joints require stabilisation. The aim of this study was to find out the role of EUA & Arthroscopy in the management of these problems.

Methods: We retrospectively studied 43 patients with chronic lateral ankle instability who had failed to respond to a functional rehabilitation programme. All patients underwent an examination under anaesthesia with stress views to determine instability proceeded by arthroscopic examination of the ankle.

Results: Intra-articular bony lesion was seen in 41.8% of cases. 79.1% had fibrosis in the anterolateral gutter, 27.9% had osteochondral defect, 30.2% had osteophytes causing impingement and 9.3% had loose bodies. Structural instability was confirmed in 53.4% and functional instability in 46.6%. Arthroscopy demonstrated attenuation of the Anterior Talofibular ligament in 14%. Following arthroscopic debridement lateral reconstruction was required in only 14(32.5%). 23 patients (53.4%) went on to improve after arthroscopy alone and did not need lateral reconstruction.

Conclusion: Arthroscopic assessment and treatment of intraarticular lesion in patients with chronic ankle instability can result in a stable ankle that does not necessitate a lateral ligament complex reconstruction.

Theses abstracts were prepared by Professor Roger Lemaire. Correspondence should be addressed to EFORT Central Office, Freihofstrasse 22, CH-8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland.