J Korean Foot Ankle Soc.  2021 Mar;25(1):6-9. 10.14193/jkfas.2021.25.1.6.

What Happens without Treating Chronic Lateral Ankle Instability

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, Korea
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

The term chronic lateral ankle instability (CLAI) embraces a spectrum of conditions that involve functional and mechanical instability, both in athletes and lower-demand patients. The hallmarks of CLAI are recurrent sprains, persistent pain, and repeated episodes of the ankle giving way. CLAI is the main complication of acute ankle sprains, which can cause discomfort in daily and sports activity. Approximately 10% to 30% of patients with acute ligament ruptures will develop chronic instability over the course of a year from the index injury. An accurate diagnostic approach and successful treatment plan should be established based on a comprehensive understanding of the concept of functional and mechanical instability. Unfortunately, the optimal modality for the management of CLAI is unclear. Even after conservative treatment or surgical intervention, it could result in degenerative changes to the ankle joint in the long term. Thus far, the incidence of ligamentous posttraumatic ankle osteoarthritis was reported to be 13% to 78%. The mean latency time between injury and osteoarthritis was at least 10 to 34.3 years. CLAI is an important pathological condition that can cause discomfort or dysfunction in daily activity in the short term, resulting in joint destruction in the long term. Therefore, it is important to understand the various complications that can occur when CLAI is not treated properly.

Keyword

Ankle; Joint instability; Chronic; Complications

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