Talofibular Ligament Injury Follow-up

Updated: Apr 20, 2018
  • Author: Marc A Molis, MD, FAAFP; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Return to Play

Athletes may return to sports following a talofibular ligament injury when they are able to run and pivot without pain while the ankle is braced. Bracing and taping of the injured ankle is continued during athletic activities for 6 months.

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Resource Center Exercise and Sports Medicine

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Complications

Up to 20% of patients with an acute inversion injury develop chronic functional instability. Electromyography (EMG) has demonstrated prolonged reaction times of the peroneal muscle in this group of patients. Strengthening and proprioception exercises can lead to improvement. Patients whose injury do not respond and have continued mechanical laxity and functional instability may be candidates for lateral ligament reconstruction.

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Prevention

Completion of an adequate rehabilitation program, as well as functional bracing or taping for 6 months following the injury, minimizes the chance of recurrent injury.

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Prognosis

Eighty percent of patients with lateral ankle injuries make a full recovery following conservative rehabilitation. Up to 20% demonstrate chronic ankle instability, requiring prolonged therapy and possibly surgical repair.

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Education

To help prevent recurrent injury, patients should be instructed regarding the proper techniques for ankle taping and bracing. Ankle-strengthening and proprioception exercises should also be an important part of rehabilitation, and the patient should be instructed in an appropriate home exercise program.

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