As is readily apparent, there is not a consensus regarding the treatment of lateral ligamentous ruptures of the ankle. Certainly, the elimination of functional instability is the goal of treatment. What actually causes this is still open to debate, but from Harrington's work, it appears that degenerative changes can result from mechanical instability. We are all aware that many athletes compete actively with "two-plane" instability of the ankle, but it remains to be seen if they will also suffer the late degenerative changes that Harrington describes. In the meantime, each physician must decide which diagnostic technique to rely upon and which treatment regimen will provide the most consistent results with the least incidence of functional instability.