Arthroscopic treatment of synovial impingement of the ankle
Twenty-nine cases of operative arthroscopy of the ankle were done between 1985 and 1989 for synovial impingement of the ankle. The average age of the patients was 37 years. All patients (17 men, 12 women) reported an earlier history of injury, with 24 of the patients (83%) noting chronic ankle pain after an inversion injury and 5 of the patients (17%) reporting a previous ankle fracture. Physical examination elicited anterolateral tenderness at the ankle in all cases with associated anteromedial pain in 4 patients. A demonstrable 'click' was evident in 6 of the patients (21%) on forced dorsiflexion of the ankle. All patients failed conservative treatment including physical therapy and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Surgery was performed at an average of 36 months postinjury. Ankle arthroscopy revealed extensive hypertrophic synovial thickening and scar tissue anterolaterally, indicating synovial impingement in all patients. Associated chondromalacia of the distal tibia was seen in 21% of the patients. Operative arthroscopy included partial synovectomy and debridement of the hypertrophic tissue and partial shaving chondroplasty of the tibia when indicated. Postoperatively, patients were weightbearing as tolerated. Results were assessed subjectively and objectively. At 25-month followup 26 patients had excellent or good results and 3 had fair results; there were no poor results. There were no major complications, including infection or neurovascular compromise. The 3 patients with associated ankle instability comprised the 'fair' result group and eventually required lateral ankle reconstruction. Thus, chronic ankle pain due to synovial impingement can be safely, predictably, and effectively treated by operative ankle arthroscopy
The use of somatosensory evoked potentials for detection of neuropraxia during shoulder arthroscopy [Case Report]
With the increase in the use of shoulder arthroscopy in the past decade, there has been an increased awareness of complications. Reports of the occurrence of transient neuropraxia indicate an incidence of 10%-30%. The recording of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP) for the study and functional monitoring of the sensory pathway is well accepted as a reproducible method of monitoring peripheral nerve and spinal cord function during surgery. SEPs were recorded during shoulder arthroscopy in 20 patients to monitor the musculocutaneous nerve, ulnar nerve, and either the median or radial nerve. In all 20 cases, abnormal SEPs of the musculocutaneous nerve were demonstrated. In 16 cases, this was produced upon initial joint distention, and in 15 cases, by traction; in 11, by longitudinal traction of greater than or equal to 12 lb, and in six by perpendicular traction of greater than or equal to 7 lb. In 10 patients, there were varying combinations of median, ulnar, and radial nerve involvement. There were two cases of clinical neuropraxia in this series. One resolved in 24 h and one in 48 h. The conclusion is that there is a real potential for neurologic damage during shoulder arthroscopy and that the musculocutaneous nerve is the most vulnerable. Factors responsible include joint distention, excessive traction, and extravasation of fluid. The use of SEPs provides a reliable means for monitoring the neurologic status of the extremity during shoulder arthroscopy.