The improvement of postural control in patients with mechanical ankle instability after lateral ankle ligaments reconstruction
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Lateral ankle sprain is the most common injury. A previous study demonstrated that patients with mechanical ankle instability suffered deficits in postural control, indicating that structural damage of the lateral ankle ligaments may produce a balance deficit. The purpose of this study was to confirm that lateral ligaments reconstruction could improve postural control in patients with mechanical ankle instability.
A total of 15 patients were included in the study. Each patient had a history of an ankle sprain with persistent symptoms of ankle instability and a positive anterior drawer test and had been treated nonoperatively for at least 3 months. All patients were diagnosed with lateral ankle ligaments tear by ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging. They underwent arthroscopic debridement and open lateral ankle ligaments reconstruction with a modified Broström procedure. One day before and 6 months after the operation, all of the participants underwent single-limb postural sway tests. The anterior drawer test and the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society scale score were used to evaluate the clinical results in these patients.
At 6 months after the operation, with the patients’ eyes closed, there was significantly decreased postural sway in the anteroposterior direction, the circumferential area, and the total path length on the operated ankles compared with those measurements before the operation. With eyes open, however, no difference was found in postural sway before and after the operation.
Postural control was improved by reconstructing the lateral ligaments.
Level of evidence
KeywordsAnkle instability Postural sway Mechanical Ligament reconstruction
This work was supported by a grant awarded to Ying-Hui Hua from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC81101391).
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