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The Conundrum of Syndesmotic Injury

Few topics in the foot and ankle space have allured as much attention as the distal tibiofibular syndesmosis. Until recently, the criteria for diagnosing clinically meaningful syndesmotic injury, especially in subtle cases, remained elusive in the literature.

What we should know

  1. Syndesmotic injury represents a spectrum of ligamentous disruption.

  2. Arthroscopy is the diagnostic standard, particularly in subtle cases.

  3. Injury portends a poorer prognosis in various pathologic states.

New research: syndesmotic injury effects ankle stabilization outcomes

Su et al.’s recent research, “Effect of Arthroscopically Confirmed Syndesmotic Widening on Outcome Following Isolated Broström Operation for Chronic Lateral Ankle Instability,” shows concomitant syndesmotic injury adversely affected the return to activities for patients who underwent a Broström Guld procedure for chronic lateral ankle instability at a minimum of 1-year follow-up. Specifically, the authors showed a delayed return to work and sports, a lower proportion of return to preinjury sports, and more sprain recurrence.

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