Deltoid Ligament Injuries in Athletes: Techniques of Repair and Reconstruction

Operative Techniques in Sports Medicine - OPERAT TECHNIQ SPORTS MED 01/2010; 18(1):11-17. DOI:10.1053/j.otsm.2009.10.001

ABSTRACT Deltoid ligament injuries are a source of valgus and rotational ankle instability and often occur as a result of athletic injury. The anatomy of the medial ankle ligament complex is reviewed and pertinent radiological findings are emphasized. The clinical evaluation of athletes with medial ankle instability as well as methods of repair and reconstruction of the deltoid ligament complex in those patients requiring surgical care are described.

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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: A literature review of the deltoid ligament was conducted, examining the current literature on anatomy, function, and treatment strategies. In particular, anatomical inconsistencies within the literature were evaluated, and detailed anatomical dissections are presented. METHODS: A literature search was conducted on PubMed using keywords relevant to the deltoid ligament in the ankle and medial ankle instability. Primary research articles, as well as appropriate summary articles, were selected for review. RESULTS: While it is well defined that the deltoid is contiguous and divided into one superficial and one deep portion, the creation of the individual fibres may be artificial. Furthermore, while improvements in imaging techniques and arthroscopy have not led to a consensus on the anatomy of the ligament, they may help improve recognition of deltoid injuries. Once identified, the majority of deltoid injuries can be treated via conservative treatment. However, reparative and reconstructive treatment strategies can also be used for complex acute injuries or chronic medial ankle instability. CONCLUSION: Given the continuing evolution of the anatomical understanding of the ligament, the current treatment protocol for deltoid injuries requires further standardization, with an emphasis on proper diagnosis.
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