Arthroscopic all-inside ATiFL’s distal fascicle transfer for ATFL’s superior fascicle reconstruction or biological augmentation of lateral ligament repair
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Tendon grafts are often utilized for reconstruction of the lateral ligaments unamenable to primary repair. However, tendon and ligaments have different biological roles. The anterior tibiofibular ligament’s (ATiFL) distal fascicle may be resected without compromising the stability of the ankle joint. The aim of this study is to describe an all-arthroscopic and intra-articular surgical technique of ATiFL’s distal fascicle transfer for the treatment of chronic ankle instability.
Five unpaired cadaver ankles underwent arthroscopic ATiFL’s distal fascicle transfer using a non-absorbable suture and a knotless anchor. Injured or absent ATiFL’s distal fascicle were excluded from the study. Following arthroscopy, the ankles were dissected and evaluated for entrapment of nearby adjacent anatomical structures. The ligament transfer was also assessed. The distance between the anterolateral (AL) portals and the superficial peroneal nerve (SPN) was measured and the shortest distance was reported.
All specimens revealed successful transfer of the tibial origin of the ATiFL’s distal fascicle onto the talar insertion of anterior talofibular ligament’s (ATFL) superior fascicle. The fibular origin of the ATiFL’s distal fascicle remained intact. There were no specimens with SPN or extensor tendon entrapment. The median distance between the proximal AL portal and SPN was 3.8 mm. The median distance between the distal AL portal and SPN was 3.9 mm.
An all-arthroscopic approach to an ATiFL’s distal fascicle transfer is a reliable method to reconstruct the ATFL’s superior fascicle. Transfer of ATiFL’s distal fascicle avoids the need for tendon harvest or allograft. The lack of injury to nearby adjacent structures suggests that it is a safe procedure. The clinical relevance of the study is that ATiFL’s distal fascicle can be arthroscopically transferred to be used as a biological reinforcement of the ATFL repair, or as an ATFL reconstruction.
KeywordsAnkle instability Ankle ligament Treatment Arthroscopy Anatomy
No external funding was used.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The study was approved by the University of Barcelona with IRB number: 00003099.
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