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Rotational malleolar fractures result in a high prevalence of intra-articular pathologies; therefore, routine arthroscopic assessment may be beneficial in the surgical treatment of ankle fractures. However, the clinical studies regarding the effectiveness of arthroscopy thus far have mixed results. We investigated the efficacy of concurrent arthroscopy during the treatment of malleolar fractures using a large U.S. healthcare data set. Those who had arthroscopy were compared with those who did not, during the surgical treatment of malleolar fractures, while adjusting for covariates of clinical relevance. The analysis showed that concurrent arthroscopy is protective against postoperative repeat surgery (OR = 0.13, 95CI = 0.02-0.41) and wound dehiscence (OR = 0.18, 95CI = 0.03-0.56). The number of added arthroscopy cases needed to avoid one repeat surgery was 74, while that of wound dehiscence was 52. Further studies are needed to determine if routine use of arthroscopy is justifiable in the surgical treatment of malleolar fractures, given the additional costs and time to the healthcare system.


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Publication Title

The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery

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Available for download on Wednesday, March 05, 2025

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