Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 33, Issue 10, pp 881–890 | Cite as

RMI study and clinical correlations of ankle retinacula damage and outcomes of ankle sprain

  • Antonio Stecco
  • Carla SteccoEmail author
  • Veronica Macchi
  • Andrea Porzionato
  • Claudio Ferraro
  • Stefano Masiero
  • Raffaele De Caro
Original Article


Recent studies reveal the role of the ankle retinacula in proprioception and functional stability of the ankle, but there is no clear evidence of their role in the outcomes of ankle sprain. 25 patients with outcomes of ankle sprain were evaluated by MRI to analyze possible damage to the ankle retinacula. Patients with damage were subdivided into two groups: group A comprised cases with ankle retinacula damage only, and group B those also with anterior talofibular ligament rupture or bone marrow edema. Both groups were examined by VAS, CRTA and static posturography and underwent three treatments of deep connective tissue massage (Fascial Manipulation technique). All evaluations were repeated after the end of treatment and at 1, 3 and 6 months. At MRI, alteration of at least one of the ankle retinacula was evident in 21 subjects, and a further lesion was also identified in 7 subjects. After treatment, VAS and CRTA evaluations showed a statistically significant decrease in values with respect to those before treatment (p < 0.0001). There were also significant improvements (p < 0.05) in stabilometric platform results. No significant difference was found between groups A and B. The initial benefit was generally maintained at follow-up. The alteration of retinacula at MRI clearly corresponds to the proprioceptive damage revealed by static posturography and clinical examination. Treatment focused on the retinacula may improve clinical outcomes and stabilometric data.


Ankle sprain Retinacula Proprioception Fascia Fascial manipulation Deep connective tissue massage 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Stecco
    • 1
  • Carla Stecco
    • 2
    Email author
  • Veronica Macchi
    • 2
  • Andrea Porzionato
    • 2
  • Claudio Ferraro
    • 1
  • Stefano Masiero
    • 1
  • Raffaele De Caro
    • 2
  1. 1.Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation ClinicUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Section of Anatomy, Department of Human Anatomy and PhysiologyUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly

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