Assessment of the lateral ligaments of the ankle after healed fractures.
ABSTRACT Lateral ligament complex injuries are difficult to diagnose immediately after ankle fracture, and treatment is focused on the fracture. This study examines the prevalence of ligamentous injuries after severe ankle fractures.
Lateral ligament instability can be revealed by inversion and anterior stress views after fracture healing. The results of 54 inversion and anterior stress examinations of the ankle after fracture healing, using a Telos stress device at 15 kPa force, were compared with uninjured ankles.
No patient had 5 degrees or more of talar tilt or 6 mm or more of anterior displacement of the talus in uninjured ankles; however, in ankles with fractures, we found abnormal talar tilt angle in 12 and excessive anterior displacement in five. An abnormal inversion stress test was found to be considerably more common in the fractured ankles.
Our study revealed that lateral ligament injuries may occur simultaneously with ankle fractures, with the most frequently injured being the calcaneofibular ligament.