J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 16, No 11, November 2008, 635-646. C. Niek van Dijk, MD, PhD and Christiaan J. A. van Bergen, MD
Important progress has been made during the past 30 years in arthroscopic ankle surgery. Ankle arthroscopy has gradually changed from a diagnostic to a therapeutic tool. Most arthroscopic procedures can be performed by using the anterior working area with the ankle in dorsiflexion or plantar flexion; there is no need for routine ankle distraction. Anterior ankle problems, such as anterior impingement syndrome, are approached by anteromedial and anterolateral portals and, if necessary, an accessory portal. Most osteochondral defects can be reached from anterior with the ankle in plantar flexion. For a far posterior location, the osteochondral defect can be approached from posterior. The two-portal hindfoot endoscopic technique (ie, both arthroscopic and endoscopic surgery), with the patient in the prone position, provides excellent access to the posterior ankle compartment and to posteriorly located extra-articular structures.