Outcomes Following Repeat Ankle Arthroscopy and Microfracture for Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus

Kevin A. Schafer, Brian M. Cusworth, Gregory S. Kazarian, Jonathon D. Backus, Sandra E. Klein, Jeffrey Johnson, Jeremy J. McCormick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The management of symptomatic osteochondral lesions of the talus (OLTs) previously treated with arthroscopy is controversial. Minimal data exist on the role for repeat arthroscopy. Here, we describe our experience with repeat arthroscopy and microfracture for symptomatic OLTs. Methods: Our database was queried over an 8-year period to identify patients undergoing repeat arthroscopy and microfracture as treatment for symptomatic OLTs. Phone surveys were conducted to assess residual pain, patient satisfaction, and need for subsequent surgery. We compared patient outcomes based on the size of their OLT (small lesions ≤150 mm2, large >150 mm2) and the presence or absence of subchondral cysts. Results: We identified 14 patients who underwent repeat arthroscopy and microfracture for symptomatic OLTs. Patients reported reasonable satisfaction (7.6 ± 3.5 out of 10) but moderate residual pain (4.7 ± 3.4 out of 10) at midterm follow-up (5.1 ± 2.9 years). In total, 21% (3/14) of patients had undergone subsequent surgery. Patients with small (n = 5) and large OLTs (n = 9) had similar postoperative pain scores (4.2 ± 4.1 vs 4.9 ± 3.2) and postoperative satisfaction levels (6.4 ± 4.9 vs 8.3 ± 2.5). Conclusion: At midterm follow-up, repeat arthroscopy for symptomatic OLTs demonstrated reasonable satisfaction but moderate residual pain. Lesion size or presence of subchondral cysts did not affect outcome, but our sample size was likely too small to detect statistically significant differences. These data show that repeat ankle arthroscopy can be performed safely with modest outcomes, and we hope that this report aids in managing patient expectations. Level of Evidence: Level IV Case Series

Original languageEnglish
JournalFoot and Ankle Specialist
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • ankle injuries
  • arthritis and joint disease
  • complex foot and ankle conditions
  • foot surgery techniques
  • sports injuries


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