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Needle arthroscopy in anatomical reconstruction of the lateral ankle: a report of three cases with a parallel comparison to the standard arthroscopy procedure

R. Lopes, T. Noailles, G. Padiolleau, N. Bouguennec,
Published: 30 July 2022

Abstract: Purpose: This study evaluates the use of the needle arthroscopy in anatomical reconstruction of the lateral ankle. We hypothesized that the needle arthroscopy would allow anatomical reconstruction to be performed under arthroscopy. Methods: Three patients underwent treatment of chronic ankle instability. The comparative procedure was performed in the following four steps: 1) anteromedial articular exploration (medial/lateral gutter/anterior chamber/syndesmosis); 2)creation of the talar tunnel via the anteromedial arthroscopic approach; 3) anterolateral fibular tunneling; and 4) positioning of the graft by the anteromedial arthroscopic approach. For each of these steps, the planned procedure using the needle arthroscope was compared to the standard arthroscope. For each step, the planned procedure using the needle arthroscopy was compared to the standard arthroscope and the act was classified based on level of difficulty: facilitated, similar, complicated and impossible. Results: The exploration of the medial and lateral gutter, the creation of the tunnel of the talus and graft positioning were not accomplished using the needle arthroscope. While the syndesmosis visualization was facilitated by the needle arthroscope in comparison to the standard arthroscope. Conclusion: The anatomical reconstruction of the lateral ankle, using the needle arthroscopy-only approach, was impossible in all three cases, regarding: ankle joint exploration, creation of the tunnel of the talus and graft positioning. The needle arthroscope should not be considered as a "mini arthroscope" but as a new tool with which it is necessary to rethink procedures to take advantage of the benefits of this instrument.
Keywords: Ankle reconstruction / Ankle arthroscopy / Needle arthroscopy / Ankle ligaments / Arthroscopy / Nanoscope

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