The Role of Ankle Arthroscopy on the Surgical Management of Ankle Fractures

FOOT & ANKLE INTERNATIONAL Copyright © 2001 by the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, Inc.

David B. Thordarson, MD.; Ravinder Bains, MD.; Lane E. Shepherd, M.D. Los Angeles, CA

ABSTRACT Nineteen patients were prospectively randomized for operative treatment of their ankle fracture to be supplemented with or without ankle arthroscopy. All patients had an SER or PER fracture with an intact medial malleolus requiring operative treatment without evidence of intra-articular debris preoperatively. All patients underwent plate fixation of their fibula fracture and had a similar postoperative protocol. Ten patients were randomized to the control group with plate fixation only and nine patients randomized to the plate fixation plus operative arthroscopy. The average follow-up was 21 months. The arthroscopic examination of the study group revealed eight of the nine patients to have articular damage to the dome of the talus. Minimal arthroscopic treatment of these joints was required. All patients healed their fractures. No difference was noted between SF-36 scores or lower extremity scores between the two groups. At short term follow-up, it does not appear that the arthroscopic procedure will impact upon the patient's eventual outcome in this small group of patients.


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