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To present the case of an 18-year-old football player who chose conservative treatment for a superior peroneal retinaculum tear and to review alternatives.
Superior peroneal retinaculum tears are often mistaken for lateral ankle instability. These tears often do not heal readily by themselves and must be identified so that proper treatment can begin.
Superior peroneal retinaculum tear, peroneal subluxation, peroneal retinacular avulsion, snapping ankle.
This athlete chose conservative treatment, which may have cost him 4 weeks and the chance to return to his senior season. Surgical treatment can reduce recovery time.
This case history presents an athlete who was thought to have a grade II lateral ankle sprain. After weeks of rehabilitation, pain and effusion diminished, but the athlete was still unable to perform any functional activity without symptoms of pain and catching.
Making the correct clinical diagnosis and understanding the time frame involved in rehabilitative versus surgical treatment are necessary to return the athlete to play in a timely manner.