Complications Associated with Foot and Ankle Arthroscopy


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Abstract

Despite a late start within the realm of arthroscopy, foot and ankle arthroscopy proves to be an important diagnostic and treatment tool for the foot and ankle specialist. As indication for arthroscopy increases, complications associated with foot and ankle arthroscopy must be revisited. We reviewed 405 foot and ankle arthroscopic procedures performed on 390 patients in 4 different facilities over a 3-year period extending from January 2005 to August 2008. Two-hundred-sixty foot and ankle arthroscopic procedures on 251 patients met our inclusion criteria. A total of 246 ankle and 14 posterior subtalar arthroscopic procedures were performed with a mean follow-up of 10.7 ± 3.5 months. Patient demographics, preoperative findings, intraoperative technique, and postoperative course were reviewed. We failed to identify statistically significant predictive factors for complications. Arthroscopy performed in combination with adjunctive procedures showed a trend toward higher complication rate, although statistical significance was not noted. Overall, 20 cases (7.69%) experienced arthroscopy-related complications, and this finding was comparable with previously published results. The most common complication was cutaneous nerve injury, which involved 9 cases (3.46%), and localized superficial infection, which involved 8 cases (3.08%). Injury to the superficial peroneal nerve accounted for 5 of the cutaneous nerve injuries. There were no cases of arthroscopy-related vascular injury. All cases of superficial postoperative infection resolved with antibiotic therapy, and none of the cases required return to the operating room. These results were also similar to published data.Level of Clinical Evidence: 2

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