In a series of 235 freshly sprained ankles with roentgenographic proof of instability of the fibular collateral ligaments, forty-five were repaired surgically and then immobilized in plaster for six weeks; 190 were immobilized in plaster for six weeks without surgery. Thirty-three of the ankles treated by open ligamentous repair were followed for two and a half years. Twenty-nine of these regained 90 per cent or more of normal function.
Seventy-two of the 190 ankles treated by immobilization in plaster for six weeks were examined two years after injury. Only thirty showed a 90 per cent or better return of function, whereas the remaining forty-two had a 75 to 80 per cent return of function with occasional swelling, giving way, aching, and weakness during moderate activity.