Syndesmotic ankle sprains in athletes

G Williams, M Jones and A Amendola.

Ankle sprains are amongst the most common athletic injury and represent a significant source of pain and disability.  Syndesmosis injuries have historically been under diagnosed and assessment and optimal treatment has not been determined.  A recent increase in awareness of syndesmosis injuries has lead to an increse in diagnosis however there is a low level of evidence and a paucity of literature on this topic compared with lateral ankle spains.  As a result no clear guidelines are available to help the clinician assess the severity of the injury, choose an appropriate imaging modality, decide on management strategy and make decisions about the return to play.  Increased knowledge is required in the area to ensure optimal management of the injured athlete.  This review article discusses anatomy, mechanism of injury, diagnosis and treatment.  It also highlights some of the controversies in the management of syndesmosis injuries and suggests areas for future research.

American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2007, 35, 1197-1207

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