Syndesmosis sprains of the ankle: a systematic review.
Syndesmosis sprains have received increasing recognition during recent years because of a heightened awareness of the mechanism, symptoms, and signs of injury. Syndesmosis injuries take longer to recover than lateral ankle sprains, and no consensus exists regarding optimal treatment of these injuries. Therefore, we undertook a systematic review of the literature to evaluate the effect of treatment on outcome following syndesmosis injury. We identified six articles that evaluated treatment of syndesmosis injuries. All studies were case series including prospectively collected data of young, active patients with a minimum of 6 months followup and represented the highest level of evidence available. Three specifically addressed patient outcomes at final followup: one indicated 44 percent of patients had acceptable outcomes, and two rated patient outcomes as good to excellent. Time lost from sport ranged from 0 to 137 days, with averages ranging from approximately 10 to 14 days up to 52 days. The studies did not employ consistent diagnosis or grading schemes, did not use uniform treatment protocols, and did not compare treatments. Therefore, this review generates several prospective areas for additional investigation rather than providing strong evidence to support a particular method of treatment.
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