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Bull NYU Hosp Jt Dis. 2011;69(1):17-26.

Acute and chronic lateral ankle instability in the athlete.

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Sutter Medical Group, Sacramento, California, USA.


Ankle sprain injuries are the most common injury sustained during sporting activities. Three-quarters of ankle injuries involve the lateral ligamentous complex, comprised of the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL), and the posterior talofibular ligament (PTFL). The most common mechanism of injury in lateral ankle sprains occurs with forced plantar flexion and inversion of the ankle as the body's center of gravity rolls over the ankle. The ATFL followed by the CFL are the most commonly injured ligaments. Eighty percent of acute ankle sprains make a full recovery with conservative management, while 20% of acute ankle sprains develop mechanical or functional instability, resulting in chronic ankle instability. Treatment of acute ankle sprains generally can be successfully managed with a short period of immobilization that is followed by functional rehabilitation. Patients with chronic ankle instability who fail functional rehabilitation are best treated with a Brostrom-Gould anatomic repair or, in those patients with poor tissue quality or undergoing revision surgery, an anatomic reconstruction.

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