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Brostrom Procedure Guide

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 8/27/2009

This article talks about a brostrom procedure and its elements.

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    The brostrom procedure is a surgical procedure that is performed to stabilize the lateral ankle. This procedure is most often performed on those who often experience ankle sprains. It will provide the best long-term results for those who are not avid athletes. This procedure may not be desirable for avid athletes because they tend to put abnormal stress on their ankles.

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    Purpose of This Procedure

    The purpose of this procedure is to stabilize the ankle, improve the ankle's mechanics and restore full function. This procedure also aims to help a patient reduce pain related to their injury and ankle sprains. Many patients who have this procedure will also notice that they experience ankle sprains far less often. Some patients will experience no ankle sprains after this procedure unless they experience a trauma to their ankle.

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    Procedure Description

    During a brostrom procedure the patient will be put to sleep under general anesthesia. Once asleep the surgeon will thoroughly clean the area that will be operated on. They will then make all necessary incisions. Once the incisions are made they will repair any damaged lateral ankle ligaments in the hope of restoring the ankle back to its pre-injury state. This procedure can also include shortening and reattaching the lateral ligaments to reconstruct them. Once all of the repairs are made the surgeon will suture the incisions and apply any necessary bandages.

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    Possible Complications

    Since this is a surgical procedure complications can occur. However, complications are generally rare. Some patients may experience an infection at the incision site. If an infection occurs, they can almost always be cured with a course of oral antibiotics. Another complication is superficial peroneal nerve distribution sensation reduction. Generalized ligamentous laxity may also occur. Since anesthesia is used there is a chance of anesthesia complications including adverse reactions or allergic reactions.

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    Outcome

    Those who have had this procedure done are expected to have a stronger ankle meaning their ankle will no longer give out on them. It is estimated that approximately 85 percent of patients who have this procedure experience restored stability. Success can be achieved regardless of how soon the ankle is repaired after a patient's ankle instability issues occur, but the results are slightly better when the surgery is performed sooner. According to another study, of those who have had this procedure approximately 91 percent of patients reported good to excellent results. Their ankles felt stable and after they completely recovered they noticed improved stability and significant restoration of function.

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    Resources

    Messer, T.M., Cummins, C.A., Ahn, J., Kelikian, A.S. (2000). Brostrom Procedure Complications. Retrieved on August 25, 2009 from Website: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11139039

    Medcyclopedia. (2009). Brostrom Procedure. Retrieved on August 25, 2009 from Website: http://www.medcyclopaedia.com/library/topics/volume_iii_1/b/brostrom_procedure.aspx

    Toolan, B.C. MD, (2008). Clinical Evidence Supports Anatomic Reconstruction for Ankle Instability. Retrieved on August 25, 2009 from Website: http://www.orthosupersite.com/view.asp?rID=28659