Nikiforos Pandelis Saragas,
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Linksfield Sports and Rehabilitation Centre (Clinic), University of Witwatersrand, Suite 303, 3rd Floor, 24-12th Avenue, Linksfield West, Johannesburg, South Africa
The aim of this study was to determine whether arthroscopic ankle arthrodesis in selected patients is comparable to open techniques with respect to patient satisfaction, ease of technique, stay in hospital, morbidity and union rate. A prospective study was undertaken in which 26 patients underwent arthroscopic ankle arthrodesis by a single surgeon between 1997 and 2001. The inclusion criteria were symptoms isolated to arthritic tibiotalar joint and clinically insignificant angular deformity of the ankle. Patients requiring bone graft were excluded from the study. Follow-up period was 1760 months. Twenty-three of the 26 patients were available for follow-up. Average time to union was 10.5 weeks. Average pre-operative score for ankle-hind foot utilizing a modified AOFAS (out of 78 points) evaluation was 26.6 and average post-operative score was 63.91. Arthroscopic ankle arthrodesis yielded 95.65% patient satisfaction rate, 3.85% non-union rate, minimal morbidity and an average of 2 days in hospital. Operative time varied from 100180 min. Arthroscopic ankle arthrodesis is a feasible alternative to open arthrodesis of the ankle in selected patients with ankle arthrosis. The downside of this technique is the learning curve and proficiency with the arthroscope.
Foot and Ankle Surgery Volume 10, Issue 3 , 2004, Pages 141-143.