BACKGROUND: The majority of lateral ankle instability can be treated successfully with conservative method. However, if such treatments fail, surgical treatment should be considered. A wide variety of procedures have been introduced to treat chronic lateral ankle instability. The percutaneous method avoids dissection which is associated with open surgery and can lead to excessive morbidity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological outcomes of percutaneous lateral ligament reconstruction with an allograft in the treatment of chronic lateral ankle instability.
METHODS: Between October 2006 and April 2009, percutaneous lateral ligament reconstruction using an allograft was performed on 15 ankles in 13 patients for chronic lateral ankle instability. The patients included in this study satisfied at least one of the following criteria: a previously failed reconstruction of the ligament, severe ankle instability (more than 15 degrees of talar tilt, more than 10 mm of anterior drawer), general laxity of ligaments, body mass index (BMI) higher than 25. The mean followup period was 18.1 (range, 12 to 40) months. The grafted tendon was secured by double tenodeses at both the talus and calcaneus or triple tenodeses which included a fibular tenodesis. The clinical outcomes were evaluated with Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain, Karlsson-Peterson ankle score, and patients' subjective satisfaction. The radiological results were evaluated using the varus tilting angle and the anterior displacement distance.
RESULTS: The VAS improved from preoperative 3.7 ±2.2 to 1.6 ±1.3 at the last followup (p = 0.002). The Karlsson-Peterson ankle score increased from 54.2 ±8.8 to 80.9 ±7.2 (p = 0.001). Patients were satisfied in 13 cases (86.7%) with excellent or good results. Radiologically, the mean varus tilting angle was 15.5 ±4.4 degrees preoperatively and 7.3 ±3.6 at the last followup (p = 0.001). The anterior drawer distance was 10.1 ±3.3 mm preoperatively and 7.2 ±2.7 mm at last followup (p = 0.001).
CONCLUSION: We believe percutaneous lateral ligament reconstruction with allograft to be a useful method as a salvage procedure for the treatment of severe and complicated types of chronic lateral ankle instability. Furthermore, the minimal invasiveness of this technique provides a good cosmetic outcome and we found it to be a technically easy and fast procedure.