Background: Anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) reconstruction is routinely undertaken to manage chronic lateral ankle instability (CLAI). This study evaluated the effects on clinical outcome of preserving or not preserving the ATFL remnant when reconstructing the ATFL. Methods: From January 2015 to July 2017, 53 CLAI patients with ATFL injury were randomized to undergo either a remnant-preserving (preservation of ATFL) or a non-preserving (no preservation of ATFL) anatomic reconstruction of the ATFL using an ipsilateral free semitendinosus tendon autograft. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score, the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score, Karlsson Ankle Functional Score (KAFS), Anterior Talar Translation (ATT), and ankle proprioceptive recovery in both groups were compared. Results: All patients were followed up for at least 2 years, VAS, AOFAS, KAFS, ATT and ankle proprioception between two the groups were not statistically significant different. Conclusion: There are no differences at 2.5 years in postoperative ankle function, stability and proprioceptive recovery when an ipsilateral free semitendinosus tendon autograft is used to manage CLAI regardless of preservation of the remnant ATFL.
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