Purpose of the study: We report our experience on lateral ankle instability treated by the Chrisman Snook procedure. We studied the objective and subjective results as well as the effect on peroneus brevis tendon function.
Material and methods: Among 110 patients treated for chronic lateral ankle instability between 1991 and 1997, 32 cases were treated with this technique. The average age was 25 years (16-37) and the average time to surgery from the initial trauma was 30 months. This was a retrospective study using the Karlson Peterson form while the laxity was measured with Telos device (120 N). Cybex testing was performed on 10 patients. Twenty-seven patients participated in sport.
Results: The follow-up ranged from 6 to 65 months (average 25 months). The average Karlson's score was 82.6 with 78 per cent excellent and good results. Lateral ligament laxity was reduced from 17 mm to 4 mm on Telos measurements and no osteoarthritis was noticed radiographically. The joint mobility consistently returned to the preoperative level. Twenty four patients returned to sport although half of the patients had some pain during sport activities or with fast walking.
Discussion: Males and patients participating in sporting activities had the best results and none of the patients had recurrent instability despite new sport injuries. The persistence of some pain may be associated with the long period of instability prior to reconstruction in this group of patients.
Conclusion: The Chrisman Snook lateral ligament reconstruction is a technically easy and solid technique and we recommend it in patients with significant chronic lateral ligament instability.