Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine | 2019
Arthroscopy in Lateral Ankle Ligament Stabilization Surgery: Costs, Complications, Intra-Articular Defect Diagnosis, and Reoperations
Objectives: Lateral ankle ligament stabilization may be performed with concomitant arthroscopy. Arthroscopy has been shown to aid in the diagnosis of intra-articular defects that often accompany lateral ankle ligament injuries. This study compares the differences in cost, complications, newly diagnosed intra-articular defects, and reoperations among patients with ankle sprain/chronic instability who underwent lateral ankle ligament repair/reconstruction with or without concomitant arthroscopic procedures. Methods: Data was collected from the PearlDiver Technologies Humana dataset using CPT and ICD9/10 codes. Patients included in this study (n=2,188) had records of ankle sprain or ankle instability prior to or on the same day as one of two procedures: lateral ankle ligament repair (n=1,141) or lateral ankle ligament reconstruction (n=1,063). This population was subdivided by whether patients had records of arthroscopic procedure(s) on the same day as the ligament surgery. This yielded four groups: repair with arthroscopy (n=219), repair without arthroscopy (n=922), reconstruction with arthroscopy (n=325), reconstruction without arthroscopy (n=738). Cost, complications, newly diagnosed intra-articular defects, and reoperations were assessed. Results: Average cost per patient was higher for both arthroscopy groups: repair with arthroscopy ($6,207.78) versus repair without arthroscopy ($3,677.11; p < 0.0001); reconstruction with arthroscopy ($5,758.21) versus reconstruction without arthroscopy ($4,601.13; p = 0.0039). There was a significantly higher proportion of patients with complications in the reconstruction without arthroscopy group than in the reconstruction with arthroscopy group (7.59%, 4.31%; p = 0.0431), but the difference between repair groups was insignificant (p = 0.0626). The proportion of patients with newly diagnosed intra-articular defects was significantly higher in both arthroscopy groups: repair with arthroscopy (53.0%) versus repair without arthroscopy (35.6%; p < 0.0001); reconstruction with arthroscopy (56.0%) versus reconstruction without arthroscopy (39.8%; p < 0.0001). There was a significantly higher proportion of patients who underwent reoperation for intra-articular defects in the combined (repair plus reconstruction) arthroscopy group (7.18%) than in the combined non-arthroscopy groups (4.91%; p = 0.049). Most importantly, the average time until reoperation for intra-articular defects was significantly shorter in the combined arthroscopy group (271.923 days) than in the combined non-arthroscopy group (411.473 days; p = 0.024). Conclusion: Concomitant arthroscopy with lateral ankle ligament surgery is more expensive but does not appear to increase the overall complication rate and may allow surgeons to diagnose and treat more intra-articular pathology. Among patients requiring reoperation for intra-articular defects, the average time to reoperation was nearly 5 months shorter for patients receiving arthroscopy than for patients who did not receive arthroscopy.