Open and arthroscopic lateral ligament repair for treatment of chronic ankle instability: A systematic review

Matteo Guelfi, Marco Zamperetti, Andrea Pantalone, Federico G. Usuelli, Vincenzo Salini, Xavier Martin Oliva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Chronic ankle instability is defined by an instability lasting more than 6 months, in those cases where a comprehensive conservative treatment fails a surgical stabilization is required. Several surgical techniques have been proposed for the management of the chronic lateral instability of the ankle and even after 50 years, the Broström-Gould technique is still considered the gold standard for the treatment of this pathology. Recently, many authors have developed completely arthroscopic lateral ligament repair and the use of these procedures is rapidly increasing. The aim of this review is to provide an updated overview of open and new arthroscopic lateral ligament repair techniques in order to summarize and compare the effectiveness of these strategies. Methods: A systematic literature review using PubMed/Medline databases was performed (July 1972-July 2015). Clinical results, satisfaction rate and complications of both patient populations were recorded and statistically analyzed. Results: The total ankles treated with an open Broström ATFL repair in the 13 studies was 505 with a mean follow up of 73.4 months (range 9 months-27.9 years). Postoperative AOFAS score was reported in 11 studies, with a mean value of 90.1 (range, 60-100), patient's satisfaction rate was 91.7%. Surgery-related complications occurred in 40 (7.92%) out of 505 treated ankles. The total number of ankles treated within the 6 arthroscopic studies was 216 with a mean follow up of 37.2 months (range 6 months-14 years). Five studies reported a mean postoperative AOFAS score of 92.48 (range, 44-100) with a patient's satisfaction rate of 96.4%. Surgery-related complications were observed in 33 (15.27%) cases. Conclusions: The results of this review show the excellent efficacy of open and arthroscopic surgical procedures in the treatment of the chronic ankle instability. The higher complication rate of arthroscopic procedures respect to the open ones represents the major issue: however, this does not seem to affect the patient's satisfaction. Because of statistical heterogeneity observed no definitive conclusions can be statistically drawn. Finally, to definitively validate the effectiveness of arthroscopic procedures prospective and comparative studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
JournalFoot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Ankle
  • Ankle instability
  • Ankle lateral ligament repair
  • Arthroscopy
  • Broström
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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