Effect of Ankle Position and Noninvasive Distraction on Arthroscopic Accessibility of the Distal Tibial Plafond.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Osteochondral lesions of the tibial plafond (OLTPs) can lead to chronic ankle pain and disability. It is not known how limited ankle motion or joint distraction affects arthroscopic accessibility of these lesions. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of different fixed flexion angles and distraction on accessibility of the distal tibial articular surface during anterior and posterior arthroscopy. METHODS: Fourteen below-knee cadaver specimens underwent anterior and posterior ankle arthroscopy using a 30-degree 2.7-mm arthroscopic camera. Intra-articular working space was measured with a precision of 1 mm using sizing rods. The accessible areas at the plafond were marked under direct visualization at varying fixed ankle flexion positions. Arthroscopic accessibilities were normalized as percent area using a surface laser scan. Statistical analyses were performed to assess the relationship between preoperative ankle range of motion, amount of distraction, arthroscopic approach, and arthroscopic plafond visualization. RESULTS: There was significantly greater accessibility during posterior arthroscopy (73.5%) compared with anterior arthroscopy (51.2%) in the neutral ankle position ( P = .007). There was no difference in accessibility for anterior arthroscopy with increasing level of plantarflexion ( P > .05). Increasing dorsiflexion during posterior arthroscopy significantly reduced ankle accessibility ( P = .028). There was a significant increase in accessibility through the anterior and posterior approach with increasing amount of intra-articular working space (parameter estimates ± SE): anterior = 14.2 ± 3.34 ( P < .01) and posterior = 10.6 ± 3.7 ( P < .05). Frequency data showed that the posterior third of the plafond was completely inaccessible in 33% of ankles during anterior arthroscopy. The frequency of inaccessible anterior plafond during posterior arthroscopy was 12%. CONCLUSION: Intra-articular working space and arthroscopic accessibility were greater during posterior arthroscopy compared with anterior arthroscopy. Improved accessibility of OLTPs may be achieved from posterior arthroscopy. Arthroscopic accessibility was heavily dependent on the amount of intraoperative joint working space achieved and not on ankle position. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: OLTPs are often encountered in tandem with talar lesions, and safely achieving intra-articular working space through noninvasive distraction greatly improved arthroscopic accessibility.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Akoh, CC; Dibbern, K; Amendola, A; Sittapairoj, T; Anderson, DD; Phisitkul, P

Published Date

  • October 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 38 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1152 - 1159

PubMed ID

  • 28741435

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1944-7876

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1071100717717264


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States