Simultaneous Reconstruction of the Medial and Lateral Collateral Ligaments for Chronic Combined Ligament Injuries of the Ankle

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Abstract

Background:

Objective data on chronic injuries of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) of the ankle are scarce. Chronic MCL injuries are frequently associated with lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injuries. For patients with chronic combined MCL and LCL injuries, the authors have performed simultaneous surgery of the 2 ligaments.

Hypothesis:

Simultaneous surgery of the 2 ligaments may be effectively used to treat chronic combined MCL and LCL injuries.

Study Design:

Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods:

Surgical outcomes were evaluated in 29 consecutive patients presenting with chronic MCL and LCL injuries (30 ankles; 15 men and 14 women; mean age, 31 years; 13 competitive and 10 recreational athletes). Preoperative and postoperative clinical outcomes were measured with the Karlsson score and the Japanese Society for Surgery of the Foot (JSSF) ankle-hindfoot scale score. The patients underwent preoperative and postoperative functional measurements and a radiological examination. In addition, preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results, arthroscopic findings, and histology of the MCL were evaluated.

Results:

Preoperatively, the deep fibers of the MCL did not appear striated in 29 ankles, and high-intensity signal changes were observed in 23 ankles on T2-weighted or gradient echo MRI. MCL ruptures were confirmed with arthroscopic surgery. Medial impingement lesions and focal chondral lesions were confirmed in 10 and 21 ankles, respectively. Histology of the reconstructed MCL showed dense collagen fibers with vessels. The mean postoperative follow-up period was 30 months (range, 24-52 months). There was a significant change between preoperative and postoperative Karlsson scores (69.0 vs 96.1 points, respectively; P < .0001) and JSSF scores (69.8 vs 94.5 points, respectively; P < .0001). On varus and valgus stress radiography, the postoperative talar tilt angle was significantly lower than the preoperative angle. Postoperative anterior displacement on stress radiography was significantly lower than preoperative anterior displacement. Postoperatively, all 23 athletes returned to their preinjury level of sports participation.

Conclusion:

MCL insufficiency resulted from medial ankle instability and medial impingement lesions. Outcomes in the patients indicated that MCL reconstruction or resection of medial impingement lesions, performed in addition to LCL reconstruction, is effective for treating chronic combined MCL and LCL injuries of the ankle.

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