Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 113–121 | Cite as

Operative treatment of lateral ligament instability

  • Rachel J. Shakked
  • Sydney Karnovsky
  • Mark C. Drakos
Foot and Ankle Sports Medicine (M Drakos, section editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Foot and Ankle Sports Medicine


Purpose of review

Ankle sprains, which account for 40% of sports injuries in the USA, can lead to chronic ankle instability. Chronic ankle instability can be classified as functional, mechanical, or a combination of both and is diagnosed using a combination of a physical exam, an MRI, and stress radiographs. This review focuses on different approaches to treatment, including non-operative and operative techniques, of chronic ankle instability, including reviewing traditional procedures as well as more novel and newer techniques.

Recent findings

Based on existing literature, non-operative treatment should always precede operative treatment of chronic ankle instability. If rehabilitation fails, Brostrom-Gould type ankle stabilization has been the preferred surgical option. Recent literature suggests that arthroscopic repair might reduce recovery time and improve outcomes in certain populations; however, there are higher rates of complication following these surgeries. In more high-risk populations, some literature reports that ligament repair with peroneus brevis transfer could be a more effective treatment option.


Currently, varying surgical techniques exist for the treatment of chronic ankle instability. While the more recently reported techniques show promise, it is important to note that there is little evidence showing they are more successful than traditional techniques. It is imperative that future studies focus on outcomes and complication rates of these newer procedures.


Ankle instability Brostrom Lateral ligament reconstruction ATFL Ankle sprain 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors has a financial or proprietary interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript, including, but not limited to, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, and paid expert testimony.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel J. Shakked
    • 1
  • Sydney Karnovsky
    • 2
  • Mark C. Drakos
    • 2
  1. 1.Rothman InstitutePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Hospital for Special SurgeryNew YorkUSA

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