Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics | 2019
Arthroscopy in Lateral Ankle Ligament Stabilization Surgery: Costs, Complications, Intra-Articular Defect Diagnosis, and Reoperations
Category: Ankle, Arthroscopy Introduction/Purpose: 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=2,428) 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=1,236) or lateral ankle ligament reconstruction (n=1,211). 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=314), repair without arthroscopy (n=922), reconstruction with arthroscopy (n=473), reconstruction without arthroscopy (n=738). Cost, complications, newly diagnosed intra-articular defects, and reoperations were assessed. Results: Cost was higher for arthroscopy groups: repair with arthroscopy ($5,991.32) versus repair without arthroscopy ($3,677.11; p<0.001); reconstruction with arthroscopy ($5,744.83) versus reconstruction without arthroscopy ($4,601.13; p=0.001). Proportionately more patients had complications in the repair without arthroscopy group than in the repair with arthroscopy group (9.87%, 5.41%; p=0.013). Proportionately more patients had newly-diagnosed intra-articular defects in arthroscopy groups: repair with arthroscopy (57.0%) versus repair without arthroscopy (35.6%; p<0.001); reconstruction with arthroscopy (63.0%) versus reconstruction without arthroscopy (39.8%; p<0.001). Proportionately more patients underwent reoperation for intra-articular defects in the combined arthroscopy group (6.89%) than in the combined non-arthroscopy group (4.18%; p=0.006). The average time until reoperation for intra-articular defects was shorter in the combined arthroscopy group (302.536 days) than in the combined non-arthroscopy group (473.886 days; p=0.045). 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 over 5 months shorter for patients receiving arthroscopy than for patients who did not receive arthroscopy.