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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2000 Apr;82(3):345-51.

Arthroscopic findings in acute fractures of the ankle.

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  • 1University of Basel and the Kantonsspital, St Gallen, Switzerland.


We have evaluated prospectively the arthroscopic findings in acute fractures of the ankle in 288 consecutive patients (148 men and 140 women) with a mean age of 45.6 years. According to the AO-Danis-Weber classification there were 14 type-A fractures, 198 type B and 76 type C. Lesions of the cartilage were found in 228 ankles (79.2%), more often on the talus (69.4%) than on the distal tibia (45.8%), the fibula (45.1%), or the medial malleolus (41.3%). There were more lesions in men than in women and in general they were more severe in men (p < 0.05). They also tended to be worse in patients under 30 years and in those over 60 years of age. The frequency and severity of the lesions increased from type-B to type-C fractures (p < 0.05). Within each type of fracture the lesions increased from subgroups 1 to 3 (p < 0.05). The anterior tibiofibular ligament was injured with increased frequency from type-B.1 to type-C3 fractures (p < 0.05), but it was not torn in all cases. While lateral ligamentous injuries were seen more often in type-B than in type-C fractures (p < 0.05), no difference was noted in the frequency of deltoid ligamentous lesions. Our findings show that arthroscopy is useful in identifying associated intra-articular lesions in acute fractures of the ankle.

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