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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Delayed operative treatment of syndesmotic instability. Current concepts review.

OBJECTIVE: To review the literature concerning articles evaluating the delayed operative treatment of isolated syndesmotic instability. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The main databases Pubmed/Medline, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Clinical Trial Register, Current Controlled Trials and Embase were searched from 1988 to September 2008 to identify studies relating to the late reconstruction of the distal tibiofibular syndesmosis after isolated syndesmotic injury. The level of evidence of the included articles was scored. RESULTS: Fifteen articles were identified, involving 94 ankles with a delayed reconstruction for isolated syndesmotic instability. CONCLUSION: In subacute (6 weeks to 6 months) total ruptures the focus is to restore the normal anatomy by repair of the ruptured ligament with placement of a syndesmotic screw. On base of the literature in combination with experience in clinical practice some guidelines are formulated. If inadequate remnants of the anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament (AITFL) are present, a tendon graft can be used. The insertion of the AITFL on the tibia can be medialised with a bone block and fixed with a screw. For the treatment of persistent widening and late instability these reconstruction techniques have to be used combined with debridement and placement of a syndesmotic screw to protect the reconstruction. Most adequate treatment for chronic syndesmotic instability (>6 months) is the creation of a synostosis to stabilise the distal tibiofibular joint. Late repairs give satisfactory but less favourable outcome as compared to properly treated acute injuries. It is not easy to regain complete stability by means of these secondary procedures.[1]


  1. Delayed operative treatment of syndesmotic instability. Current concepts review. van den Bekerom, M.P., de Leeuw, P.A., van Dijk, C.N. Injury (2009) [Pubmed]
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