Lateral ankle pathology
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Lateral Ankle Pathology. Brent Ricks DPM . Overview. Anatomy Clinical presentation Ankle Sprain classification Conservative treatment Surgical treatment Conclusion. Anatomy 8,11. Anterior Talofibular Ligament

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Lateral Ankle Pathology

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Lateral ankle pathology

Lateral Ankle Pathology

Brent Ricks DPM



  • Anatomy

  • Clinical presentation

  • Ankle Sprain classification

  • Conservative treatment

  • Surgical treatment

  • Conclusion

Anatomy 8 11


  • Anterior Talofibular Ligament

    • Intracapsular 10mm proximal from the Fibular tip

    • Controls anterior movement of Talus

    • Most important stabilizer for inversion

    • Anatomically weakest of the three lateral ankle ligaments Involved three times more than the CFL

  • Calcaneofibular ligament

    • Most important stabilizer of STJ

    • Extracapsular deep to Peroneals

  • Posterior Talofibular ligament

    • Intracapsular

    • Rarely injured

  • Peroneal tendons

Clinical presentation 8 10 11 12 15

Clinical Presentation8,10,11,12,15

  • Subjective

  • 85% acute ankle sprains are plantarflexion inversion

  • 10-40% of Acute ankle sprains will continue to chronic ankle instability

  • Pain, weakness, crepitus, instability, swelling, stiffness

  • Objective

  • Rearfoot varus, plantar flexed first ray, Cavus foot

  • Peroneal tear and or strength deficit

  • STJ instability in 10-75%

  • Tibiofibular syndesmosis

    • Injured 1-18% in ankle sprains, most commonly seen in collision sports

    • Pain in anteriolateral ankle with increased pain with dorsiflexion

    • Frick test; Hold foot in neutral and externally rotate the foot on a fixed leg. Pain over the syndesmosis (recreates the mechanism of injury)

    • Squeeze Tibia and Fibula together at midpoint of calf. Pain is at distal Tib-Fib syndesmosis

  • Anterior Drawer

    • Suction or Sulcus sign over ATFL

    • 10mm bil or 3mm difference

  • Talar Tilt (CFL)

    • 9 degree absolute, 3 difference

  • Talar dome lesions/Ankle arthritis

    • (20/30, 8/28)

Ankle sprain classification 2

Ankle Sprain Classification2

  • Grade 1- Little swelling and tenderness, minimal or no functional loss, no mechanical joint instability

  • Grade 2- Moderate pain, swelling over the involved structures, loss of some joint motion with mild to moderate joint instability

  • Grade 3- complete ligament rupture with marked swelling, hemorrhage and tenderness, loss of function, joint motion and instability

Conservative treatment 2 3 4 5 9

Conservative treatment2,3,4,5,9

  • RICE until swelling and pain resolves then ankle mobilization and early weight bearing

    • Cryotherapy with in 36 hours returned to full activity in 13.2 days vs. 30.4 days beginning after 36 hours


  • Taping effectiveness decreases 40% after 10min of exercise, no significant support after 60 min.

  • Taping helps minimize motion, if previously injured more than to an uninjured ankle, within 30 min window

  • Ankle braces demonstrate no significance with those who had a previous injury in high school volleyball.

    • A rigid brace in previously uninjured females may help

Conservative treatment 1 2

Conservative Treatment1,2

  • PT

    • Grade 1-2- A functional program should start immediately (3 weeks after injury to maximize collagen content)

    • Unilateral stance on a soft surface for kinesthetic awareness

    • Agility ladder for timing coordination

    • Tilt board for proprioceptive and Peroneal strengthening to improve functional instability (giving out)

    • Plyometric exercises (eccentric loading immediately followed by concentric contraction) are more effective in increasing functional performance than strength training

      • Complex series of hops and jumps

    • Strength training

      • Inversion, eversion, dorsiflexion, plantarflexion against resistance; Heel rise/ toe rise; towel curl, marble pick up

    • Activities without PT monitoring resulted in less effectiveness and were performed correctly 50% of the time

Conservative treatment 6 7

Conservative Treatment6,7

  • Orthotics

  • Pt with chronic ankle instability have lateral foot biased weight distribution in walking and barefoot running

  • Any medial ground reactive force should be avoided.

    • High arched Pt that flattens with weight bearing should get maximum arch fill on cast

  • Oblique valgus post

    • Reduce PTF and CFL tension

    • 3 degrees for Pt with Calcaneous aligned under leg, more for pes cavus

  • Valgus forefoot post

  • Cuboid pad to decrease ATFL tension

  • Lateral clip

Surgical treatment 8 11

Surgical Treatment8,11

  • Brostrom-Gould

    • Midsubstance repair

    • Incorporation of inferior extensor retinaculum

    • Mild to moderate instability

    • 85-95% effective in treating chronic instability

    • Superior to tenodesis for functional outcomes,r:0,s:0&tx=90&ty=67

Lateral ankle pathology 1360091

Kang SK et al. Long-Term Results After Modified Brostrom Procedure Without Calcaneofibular Ligament Reconstruction. Foot and Ankle International. 2011 (32) 153-157

  • 26/30 male patients

  • Average age 23

  • 80% high level or amateur athletes

  • 6 months conservative treatment with more than 15mm anterior drawer

  • ATFL repair at anterior fibular border with extensor retinaculum anchor to periosteum.

  • Short leg cast 4 weeks

  • Air Cast ankle brace 2 weeks

  • At 4 weeks gentle ROM

  • PT at 6 weeks

  • Full weightbearing when full ankle ROM reached

Lateral ankle pathology 1360091

Kang SK et al. Long-Term Results After Modified Brostrom Procedure Without Calcaneofibular Ligament Reconstruction. Foot and Ankle International. 2011 (32) 153-157

  • Follow up 10.6 years

  • Excellent (asymptomatic, full activities)

    • 12/30 patients

  • Good (some symptoms, full activity)

    • 16/30 patients

  • Fair (symptomatic not fully functioning)

    • 2/30 patients (re-injured)

  • No statistical difference in ROM in contralateral ankle

  • Anterior Drawer

    • Grade 0 (<5mm) - 13

    • Grade 1 (5-10mm) - 13

    • Grade 2 (10-15mm) - 4

Surgical treatment 8 111

Surgical Treatment8,11

  • Chrisman-Snook

    • Split Peroneous Brevis does not result in loss of eversion strength

    • 80% good to excellent results

    • Indications

      • Failed Brostrom, significant instability, Morbidly obese, STJ instability

    • Non-weight bearing 4 weeks followed by protected weight bearing as tolerated

    • Non-weight bearing 1 week. CAM boot with advancement of weight bearing until 6th week. Light exercise until 3months out.

    • Free Semitendinosus allograft anchored to the lateral Talar neck

    • Gracilis tendon autograft

Watson Jones


Lateral ankle pathology 1360091

Klammer et al. Percutaneous Lateral Ankle Stabilization: An Anatomical Investigation. Foot and Ankle International. 2011 (32)

  • Cadavaric study, 11 feet, Gracilis graft

  • 5mm incision at the anterior margin of the Fibula 10-15mm proximal of the Fibular tip

  • Guide wire into the Talar neck used to guide the bone tunnel

  • Tendon graft inserted and secures with absorbable interference screw

  • Fibular tunnel then created at the same level

  • Second incision made at the posterior Fibular tunnel and graft passed

  • 3rd incision at the insertion of CFL, Posterior and superior to Peroneal tubrical, and tunnel through Calcaneous made

  • Tendon passed and secured

  • Medial Calcaneal Branch of the Tibial nerve hit 2/11. No other nerovascular structures were compromised

Surgical treatment 9

Surgical Treatment9

  • Peroneal Repair

  • Brevis more commonly involved

    • Less than 50% of tendon torn

      • primary repair, debridement, tubularization

    • More than 50% torn

      • Tendon grafting

      • Side to side anastomosis

    • Tendonosis

      • Debridement

      • Topaz, PRP, etc



  • RICE with immobilization and NSAID, PT

  • Orthosis and braces

  • Consider all structures of lateral ankle, best viewed with MRI

  • Brostrom Gould for ATF and CFL repair and augmentation

  • If that fails, STJ instability, obesity; Tenodesis



  • Hawson ST. Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation of the Foot and Ankle in the Athlete. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2011; 189-201

  • Ismail MM; Ibrahim MM; Youssef EF; El Shorbagy KM. Plyometric Training Versus Resistive Exercises After Acute Lateral Ankle Sprain. Foot and Ankle International. 2010; (31) 523-530

  • Frey C; Feder KS; Sleight J. Prophylactic Ankle Brace use in High School Volleyball Palyers: A Prospective Study. Foot and Ankle International. 2010; (31) 296-300

  • Hubbard TJ; Cordova M. Effect of Ankle Taping on Mechanical Laxity in Chronic Ankle Instability. Foot and Ankle International 2010; (31) 499-504

  • Lyrtzis C; Natsis K; Papadopoulos C; Noussios G; Papathanasiou E. Efficacy of Paracetamol Versus Diclofenac for Grade 2 Ankle sprins. Foot and Ankle International. 2011; (32) 501-575

  • Morrison KE; Hudson DJ; Davis IS; Richards JG; Royer TD; Dierks TA; Kaminski TW. Plantar Pressure During Runnig in Subjects with Chronic Ankle Instability. Foot and Ankle International. 2010 (31) 994-1000

  • Rosenbloom KB. Pathology-Designed Custum Molded Foot Orthoses. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2011 (28) 171-187

  • Hentges MJ; Lee MS. Chronic Ankle and Subtalar Loint Instability in the Athlete. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2011 (28) 87-104

  • Franson J; Baravarian B. Lateral Ankle Triad: The triple Injury of Ankle Synovitis, Lateral Ankle Instability, and Peroneal Tendon Tear. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2011 (28) 105-115

  • Soomekh DJ. New Technology and Techniques in the Treatment of Foot and Ankle Injuries. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2011 (28) 19-41

  • Schenck RC; Coughlin MJ. Lateral Ankle Instability and Revision Surgery Alternatives in the Athlete. Foot Ankle Clin N AM. 2009 (14) 205-214

  • Lee KT; Park YU; Kim JS; Kim JB; Kim KC; Kang SK. Long-Term Results After Modified Brostrom Procdure Without Calcaneofibular Ligamnet Reconstruction. Foot and Ankle International. 2011 (32) 153-157

  • Klammer G; Schlewitz G; Stauffer C, Vich M; Espinosa N. Percutaneous Lateral Ankle Stabilization: An Anattomical Investigation. Foot and Ankle International. 2011 (32) 66-70

  • Irwin TA; Anderson RB; Davis WH; Cohen BE. Effect of Ankle Arthritis on the Clinical Outcome of Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction in Cavovarus Feet. Foot and Ankle International. 2010. (31) 941-948

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