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Braunstein, M.; Baumbach, S. F.; Böcker, W.; Mutschler, W. and Polzer, H. (2016): Arthroskopisch assistierte Frakturversorgung am oberen Sprunggelenk. In: Unfallchirurg, Vol. 119, No. 2: pp. 92-98

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Acute ankle fractures are one of the most common fractures in adults with an incidence of 0.1-0.2 % per year. Operative treatment by open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) is the standard method of treatment for unstable or dislocated fractures. The main goal of the operation is the anatomical realignment of the joint and restoration of ankle stability;nevertheless, anatomical reduction does not automatically lead to favorable clinical results. According to several studies the mid-term and in particular the long-term outcome following operative treatment is often poor with residual symptoms including chronic pain, stiffness, recurrent swelling and ankle instability. There is growing evidence that this poor outcome might be related to occult intra-articular injuries involving cartilage and soft tissues. In recent studies the frequency of fracture-related osteochondral lesions was reported to be approximately 64 %. By physical examination, standard radiography or even computed tomography (CT), these intra-articular pathologies cannot be reliably diagnosed;therefore, many authors emphasize the value of ankle arthroscopy in acute fracture treatment as it has become a safe and effective diagnostic and therapeutic procedure. Arthroscopically assisted open reduction and internal fixation (AORIF) allows control of the reduction as well examination of all intra-articular structures. If necessary, intra-articular pathologies can be addressed by removing ruptured ligaments and loose bodies, performing chondroplasty or microfracturing. So far there is no evidence that supplementary ankle arthroscopy increases the complication rate. On the other hand, the positive effect of AORIF has also not been clearly documented;nevertheless, there are clear indications that arthroscopically assisted fracture treatment is beneficial, especially in complex fractures.

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