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Am J Sports Med. 2014 Jan;42(1):225-34. doi: 10.1177/0363546513491213. Epub 2013 Jul 18.

Posterior hindfoot arthroscopy: a review.

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Niall A. Smyth, Hospital for Special Surgery, 523 East 72nd Street, Ste 507, New York, NY 10021.


In recent years, minimally invasive surgery has developed and progressed the standard of care in orthopaedics and sports medicine. In particular, the use of posterior hindfoot arthroscopy in the treatment of posterior ankle and hindfoot injury is increasing rapidly as a means of reducing pain, infection rates, and blood loss postoperatively compared with traditional open procedures. In athletes, hindfoot arthroscopy has been used effectively in expediting rehabilitation and ultimately in minimizing the time lost from competition at previous levels. Van Dijk et al were the first to describe the original 2-portal technique, which remains the most commonly used by surgeons today and forms the basis for this review. The current evidence in the literature supports the use of 2-portal hindfoot arthroscopy as a safe, primary treatment strategy for symptoms of posterior ankle impingement, including resection of os trigonum, treatment of flexor hallucis longus and peroneal tendon injury, treatment of osteochondral lesions of the ankle, and the resection of subtalar coalitions. In this review, we present where possible an evidence-based literature review on the arthroscopic treatment of posterior ankle and hindfoot abnormalities. Causes, diagnosis, surgical technique, outcomes, and complications are each discussed in turn.


arthroscopy; hindfoot; impingement; posterior ankle

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