Background: Patients with chronic deltoid ligament insufficiency (CDLI) present a challenging situation. Although numerous procedures have been described, optimal treatment is still a matter of debate. While the treatment armamentarium ranges from simple ligament repair to complex reconstructions with or without realignment osteotomies, direct repair augmented with an Internal Brace™ device appears to be an attractive intermediate option. We investigated functional outcomes and complications in patients with CDLI operated on using Internal Brace™ augmentation. Methods: A prospective study was conducted. Patients were included if they presented medial ankle pain and/or giving way, exhibited asymmetric flexible hindfoot valgus, failed conservative treatment, and had a positive MRI evaluated by an independent radiologist. Patients with stage IV flatfoot deformity, neuropathy and/or inflammatory arthritis were excluded. CDLI was confirmed intraoperatively with the arthroscopic drive-through sign. Patients were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively using FAAM, SF-36 and grade of satisfaction. Paired t-tests were used to assess FAAM and SF-36 scores variation. Results: Thirteen patients met inclusion criteria. No patient was lost to follow-up, with a mean follow-up time of 13.5 months (range 6-21). Preoperative FAAM and SF-36 scores improved from 58.7 to 75.3 and from 60.2 to 84.4 postoperatively, respectively (p<.01). Two implant failures were observed, with no apparent compromise of construct stability. No patient was re-operated. Conclusions: Our results suggest that deltoid ligament repair with Internal Brace™ augmentation in patients with CDLI is a reliable option with good functional outcomes and high satisfaction grade in short term follow-up. Level of evidence: Level IV.
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