When studying ankle instability by stress radiography, pain and muscle spasm can prevent maximal widening of the tibiotalar ankle joint and cause a false negative finding. We examined the effect of acupuncture on widening of the tibiotalar joint during stress radiography in a series of 12 asymptomatic volunteers and 12 patients. The width of the tibiotalar joint increased in 66% of the volunteers. The diagnosis changed for two patients and became more confident for four others (50%).
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