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Foot Ankle Int. 2013 Nov;34(11):1501-7. doi: 10.1177/1071100713494377. Epub 2013 Jun 14.

Near-anatomic allograft tenodesis of chronic lateral ankle instability.

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Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA.



Current operative treatment options for chronic lateral ankle instability include anatomic repairs utilizing existing local tissue and nonanatomic reconstructions sacrificing the peroneus brevis tendon to mechanically stabilize the ankle. Recent studies have modified these techniques to create an anatomic reconstruction utilizing allograft tendons. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively examine the clinical outcomes of a near-anatomic ligament reconstruction utilizing an allograft tendon for recurrent or complex lateral ankle instability.


Twenty-eight patients underwent a near-anatomic allograft lateral ankle ligament reconstruction with a semitendinosis allograft for severe or recurrent lateral ankle ligamentous instability, and all of them were available for follow-up at an average 32 months. Twelve patients had previously undergone lateral ankle ligament stabilizing surgery, 4 had Ehlers Danlos syndrome with poor local tissue, 5 had greater than 30 degrees of varus angulation of talar tilt, while 12 had associated hindfoot varus requiring concomitant reconstruction. Patients were assessed pre- and postoperatively for Visual Analog Scores (VAS) for pain, Foot and Ankle Ability Measures (FAAM), patient satisfaction, radiographic correction, and complications.


Median VAS of pain decreased from 8 before surgery to 1 after surgery (P < .001). Median FAAM score increased from 41.7 to 95.2 after surgery (P < .001). Radiographic comparison demonstrated correction of preoperative varus malalignment in all but 1 patient. No patients developed subsequent subtalar arthritis or pain. Three patients had mild persistent instability, all of which was managed nonoperatively. One of the patients with persistent instability also developed chronic regional pain syndrome following surgery. At final follow-up, 25 of 28 patients rated their satisfaction as good or excellent and 3 as fair. No patients required revision surgery.


Lateral ligament reconstruction utilizing a near-anatomically placed and tensioned allograft tendon was a viable option in treating recurrent and complex lateral instability. Not sacrificing the peroneal tendons avoided loss of eversion strength. Near-anatomic placement of the allograft provided good ankle stability without sacrificing subtalar motion or predisposition to subtalar arthritis in short-term follow-up.


Level IV, retrospective case series.


allograft tendon; ankle instability; ligament reconstruction; outcome studies

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