Zengerink M. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2012. doi:10.1007/s00167-012-2063-x
Use of the dorsiflexion method and the two-portal hindfoot approach prevented a significant number of complications in patients undergoing anterior ankle and posterior ankle arthroscopy, according to this study.
Between 1987 and 2006, 1,176 patients with a mean age of 33 years underwent 1,305 ankle arthroscopies at the University Hospital of the University of Amsterdam. A two-portal dorsiflexion method with intermittent soft tissue distraction was used during anterior ankle arthroscopy, and a two-portal hindfoot approach was used for posterior ankle arthroscopy. Patients who experienced complications underwent clinical examination and assessment of permanent damage and persisting complaints.
Study results showed an overall complication rate of 3.5%, of which age was a significant risk factor. Neurological complications occurred in 1.9% of patients and were related to portal placement. Sixty-eight percent of patients reported persisting symptoms of neurological complications at follow-up. Twenty-two of 41 complications healed without complaint; however, 17 complaints persisted and were of neurologic origin. Researchers found that complications did not lead to functional limitations and residual complaints did not influence daily activities.
“The current study is relevant because it shows a low complication rate related to a specific arthroscopy technique,” the researchers stated. “Today, many different techniques are used to perform anterior and posterior ankle arthroscopy. One should always aim for the lowest possible number of complications. Use of a meticulous technique can aid in reaching this goal.”