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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2011 Apr;19(4):226-35.

The role of arthroscopy in the management of fractures about the ankle.

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Department of Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, USA.


Anatomic restoration of the joint is the goal of management in fractures about the ankle. Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) is the standard of care for unstable ankle fractures; however, arthroscopic management has been proposed. The use of arthroscopic reduction and internal fixation (ARIF) is surgeon-dependent. Reported indications for ARIF include transchondral talar dome fracture, talar fracture, low-grade fracture of the distal tibia, syndesmotic disruption, malleolar fracture, and chronic pain following definitive management of fracture about the ankle. Among the potential benefits are less extensive exposure, preservation of blood supply, and improved visualization of the pathology. Although arthroscopy is increasingly used in the setting of trauma, the effectiveness of ARIF compared with ORIF for management of fractures of the distal tibia, malleolus, displaced talar neck, and talar body has yet to be determined. Most of these fractures are effectively managed with open procedures.

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