Postoperative Complications of Posterior Ankle and Hindfoot Arthroscopy

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Background:Posterior ankle and hindfoot arthroscopy, performed with use of posteromedial and posterolateral portals with the patient in the prone position, has been utilized for the treatment of various disorders. However, there is limited literature addressing the postoperative complications of this procedure. In this study, the postoperative complications in patients treated with posterior ankle and hindfoot arthroscopy were analyzed to determine the type, rate, and severity of complications.Methods:The study included 189 ankles in 186 patients (eighty-two male and 104 female; mean age, 37.1 ± 16.4 years). The minimum duration of follow-up was six months, and the mean was 17 ± 13 months. The most common preoperative intra-articular diagnoses were subtalar osteoarthritis (forty-six ankles), an osteochondral lesion of the talus (forty-two), posterior ankle impingement (thirty-four), ankle osteoarthritis (twenty), and subtalar coalition (five). The most common extra-articular diagnoses were painful os trigonum (forty-six), flexor hallucis longus tendinitis (thirty-two), and insertional Achilles tendinitis (five).Results:The most common intra-articular procedures were osteochondral lesion debridement (forty-four ankles), subtalar debridement (thirty-eight), subtalar fusion (thirty-three), ankle debridement (thirty), and partial talectomy (nine). The most common extra-articular procedures were os trigonum excision (forty-eight), tenolysis of the flexor hallucis longus tendon (thirty-eight), and endoscopic partial calcanectomy (five). Complications were noted following sixteen procedures (8.5%); four patients had plantar numbness, three had sural nerve dysesthesia, four had Achilles tendon tightness, two had complex regional pain syndrome, two had an infection, and one had a cyst at the posteromedial portal. One case of plantar numbness and one case of sural nerve dysesthesia failed to resolve.Conclusions:Our experience demonstrated that posterior ankle and hindfoot arthroscopy can be performed with a low rate of major postoperative complications.Level of Evidence:Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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