Ankle Sprains: 30 Years Later -- OsteoarthritisAnkle injuries are common in running and jumping sports, especially soccer. Ligament sprains and bone fractures are the most common traumatic injuries. Poor alignment of the ankle and an unstable joint occur in up to 30 percent of adults with previous ankle injuries. The results of a new study show that ankle osteoarthritis is common 30 years later.
Patients going to an ankle arthritis center over a period of seven years were included in this study. There were 261 cases of post-traumatic ankle sprains. Of these, 185 led to painful ankle arthritis. Thirteen percent of the 185 ankles were from ligament sprains. Over half were from sports activities. The rest occurred during daily activities.
Using measures of ankle pain, motion, alignment, and joint stability, the authors found the following results:
This report presents results of the longest study of ankle ligament sprains leading to posttraumatic ankle osteoarthritis. Sports athletes and especially soccer players seem to be at greatest risk. Doctors should be aware that ankle instability occurs in over half these cases.
Victor Valderrabano, MD, et al. Ligamentous Posttraumatic Ankle Osteoarthritis. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. April 2006. Vol. 34. No. 4. Pp. 612-620.
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