What is the role of surgery in the management of ankle sprains?

Updated: Jan 14, 2019
  • Author: Craig C Young, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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In most patients, there is no improved outcome with operative repair of third-degree anterior talofibular ligament tears and medial ankle ligament tears.

Indications for operative intervention in patients with an ankle sprain include the following:

  • Distal talofibular ligament third-degree sprain that causes widening of the ankle mortise

  • Deltoid sprain with the deltoid ligament caught intra-articularly and with widening of the medial ankle mortise

  • In selected young patients with high athletic demands who have both anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular complete ruptures

Surgical procedures for chronic ankle instability and sprains include the Watson-Jones procedure, the Evans procedure, and the Chrisman-Snook procedure.

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.

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