Chronic deltoid ligament insufficiency repair with Internal Brace™ augmentation

Foot Ankle Surg. 2019 Dec;25(6):812-818. doi: 10.1016/j.fas.2018.10.004. Epub 2018 Nov 5.


Background: Patients with chronic deltoid ligament insufficiency (CDLI) present a challenging situation. Although numerous procedures have been described, optimal treatment is still a matter of debate. While the treatment armamentarium ranges from simple ligament repair to complex reconstructions with or without realignment osteotomies, direct repair augmented with an Internal Brace™ device appears to be an attractive intermediate option. We investigated functional outcomes and complications in patients with CDLI operated on using Internal Brace™ augmentation.

Methods: A prospective study was conducted. Patients were included if they presented medial ankle pain and/or giving way, exhibited asymmetric flexible hindfoot valgus, failed conservative treatment, and had a positive MRI evaluated by an independent radiologist. Patients with stage IV flatfoot deformity, neuropathy and/or inflammatory arthritis were excluded. CDLI was confirmed intraoperatively with the arthroscopic drive-through sign. Patients were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively using FAAM, SF-36 and grade of satisfaction. Paired t-tests were used to assess FAAM and SF-36 scores variation.

Results: Thirteen patients met inclusion criteria. No patient was lost to follow-up, with a mean follow-up time of 13.5 months (range 6-21). Preoperative FAAM and SF-36 scores improved from 58.7 to 75.3 and from 60.2 to 84.4 postoperatively, respectively (p<.01). Two implant failures were observed, with no apparent compromise of construct stability. No patient was re-operated.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that deltoid ligament repair with Internal Brace™ augmentation in patients with CDLI is a reliable option with good functional outcomes and high satisfaction grade in short term follow-up.

Level of evidence: Level IV.

Keywords: Ankle instability; Augmentation; Chronic deltoid ligament insufficiency; Internal Brace.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foot / physiopathology
  • Foot / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Internal Fixators*
  • Ligaments, Articular / physiopathology
  • Ligaments, Articular / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult