Ankle stabilization with arthroscopic versus open with suture tape augmentation techniques


Foot and Ankle Surgeon, BayCare Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Research Coordinator, Aurora Research Institute


Ankle instability is a common problem that often leads to surgery to stabilize the ankle if conservative methods are unsuccessful in returning the patient to full activity. Surgical ankle stabilization, including arthroscopic and open methods, has been performed with overall excellent results reported. Although initial ligament strength after repair is weaker than the native ligament, new methods of augmentation with suture tape have yielded initial strength comparable to native ligament. The present study compares arthroscopic ankle stabilization and open stabilization with suture tape augmentation. A retrospective comparative trial was undertaken with a follow-up satisfaction survey. A total of 55 patients were ultimately included, consisting of 43 arthroscopic patients and 12 open with suture tape augmentation patients. Ancillary procedures are reported. The mean follow-up duration was 24.2 months in the arthroscopic group and 21 months in the open group. There was a statistically significantly faster return to activity/sports in the arthroscopic group (127.2 days vs 170 days; p = .008). Although not statistically significant, there was a trend toward favoring the open group in terms of revision surgery and patient satisfaction. Our data indicate that both methods of stabilization are reasonable for ankle instability repair.

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