Treating Lateral Ankle Instability To Address Chondral Lesions

About one-third of patients with lingering lateral ankle instability had chondral lesions, and our expert offers insights on treatment options

What’s the Claim?

A nicely done meta-analysis found that 32% of patients with >6 months of lateral ankle instability symptoms had either chondral (43%) or osteochondral (57%) lesions — 85% of the osteochondral lesions were on the talus, and about two-thirds of talar lesions were medial.

How’s It Stack Up?

Most patients with ankle sprains — even recurrent sprains — don’t turn up in orthopaedic surgeons’ offices, so these findings don’t represent a license to go looking for minimally symptomatic patients. In addition, not every study on chronic ankle instability includes MRI or arthroscopic assessment; this was a meta-analysis of those that did, and so the prevalence of these lesions calculated here may be an overestimate.

What’s Our Take?

Despite those caveats, we see this study as very practical. CORRelations’ advisor in Foot & Ankle, Greg Guyton, MD, gets the extended quote here, because his perspective on the topic is so thoughtful: