Research Article|Articles in Press

Primary Deltoid Repair for Ankle Fracture using All-Suture Anchors

Published:March 13, 2023DOI:


      Primary repair of the deltoid ligament is a common surgical option for unstable ankle fracture. However, controversy exists regarding whether such repair is necessary or provides any benefit to patient outcomes. A retrospective study was performed following acute deltoid repairs using all-suture bone anchors. Patients at two surgical centers were included when they were over 18 years old at surgery, had a medial clear space (MCS) greater than 4mm preoperatively, and had at least six months of follow-up. Subjective outcomes were measured with PROMIS, FAAM, and numeric rating scale. Preoperative and follow-up scores were compared with t-tests (p<0.05). For the 47 patients identified, age at time of surgery was 30.6 ± 14.9 years (range: 15.4 to 65.0 years). Follow-up data were captured for 36 (73%) of the patients at 75 ± 37 weeks (range: 18 to 169 weeks) after surgery. Mean time to weightbearing was 4 ± 1 weeks (range: 1 to 7 weeks). Patients returned to sport 14 ± 5 weeks after surgery (range: 8 to 41 weeks). Various complications consisted of wound infection, superficial dehiscense and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). The PROMIS, FAAM, and NRS patient outcome scores improved significantly from preoperative to postoperative follow-up. Significant reduction in the radiographic MCS postoperatively occurred in all patients. These findings suggest primary deltoid repair when associated with ankle fracture to be a safe procedure and has the potential of allowing early weight bearing and return to sports.

      Level of Clinical Evidence


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