Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy June 2016, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1860–1867

Arthroscopic evaluation of persistent pain following supramalleolar osteotomy for varus ankle osteoarthritis

Kim, Y.S., Youn, H.K., Kim, B.S. et al.


The purposes of this study were to investigate pain experienced by patients after supramalleolar osteotomy for varus ankle osteoarthritis and to analyse correlations between this pain and arthroscopic findings.



Twenty-nine patients (31 ankles) who underwent arthroscopic evaluation after supramalleolar osteotomy were reviewed retrospectively. The visual analog scale (VAS) was used to assess pain, and the patients were instructed to record the time point, location, and character of the pain. The tibial-ankle surface angle, talar tilt, and tibial-lateral surface angle were measured on radiographs.



The location, time point, and character of the pain experienced by the patients changed after supramalleolar osteotomy. The mean VAS score was significantly improved after supramalleolar osteotomy at the time of the arthroscopic evaluation (P < 0.001) and improved further after the arthroscopic procedures (P = 0.026). During arthroscopy, pathologic lesions such as adhesions, synovitis, and soft-tissue impingement were identified. A significant correlation was found between adhesions and dull pain and pain at rest (P = 0.016 and P = 0.005, respectively). In addition, soft-tissue impingement in the lateral gutter was significantly correlated with dull pain, pain at rest, and clicking pain (P = 0.001, P = 0.035, and P = 0.042, respectively). No significant correlations were found between post-operative radiographic measurements and development of pathologic lesions.



With the use of arthroscopy, persistent pain experienced after supramalleolar osteotomy was found to be associated with adhesions, synovitis, and soft-tissue impingement in medial and lateral gutters of the ankle. Arthroscopy can be helpful in identifying and treating painful lesions commonly seen after supramalleolar osteotomy. An understanding of these painful lesions will help patients have more realistic expectations regarding the supramalleolar osteotomy.


Level of evidence

Case series study, Level IV.

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