Deltoid Ligament Injuries: Diagnosis and Management

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Clinic, University of Basel, Kantonsspital Liestal, CH-4410 Liestal, Switzerland.
Foot and Ankle Clinics of North America (Impact Factor: 0.76). 10/2006; 11(3):625-37. DOI: 10.1016/j.fcl.2006.08.001
Source: PubMed


The medial ligaments of the ankle are injured more often than generally believed. Complete deltoid ligament tears are occasionally seen in association with lateral malleolar fractures or bimalleolar fractures. Chronic deltoid ligament insufficiency can be seen in several conditions, including posterior tibial tendon disorder, trauma- and sports-related deltoid disruptions, and valgus talar tilting in patients who have a history of triple arthrodesis or total ankle arthroplasty. This article focuses on the anatomy and function of the medial ligaments of the ankle and establishes a rationale for the diagnosis and treatment of incompetent deltoid ligament.

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    • "The surgical technique varies, depending on the extent and location of the ligament injury: (a) injuries at the proximal part of the deltoid (type-I lesions), (b) injuries at the intermediate part of the deltoid (type-II lesions), and (c) injuries at the distal part of the deltoid and spring ligaments (type- III lesions)[25]. A slightly curved incision, 4–8 cm in length, is made, starting 1–2 cm proximal to the medial malleolar tip and headed towards the medial aspect of the navicular bone. "
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    • "The anterior drawer test and the talar tilt test were the two common tests to assess the integrity of the anterior talofibular ligament, and could be useful in diagnosing the grading of the tear of the ligament [39,102]. To test the medial ligament, mainly the deltoid ligament at the medial aspect of the ankle, the eversion stress test was commonly performed [103]. This could be tested by the external rotation test and the squeeze test [49]. "
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