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Historical Development

When Burman (1) in 1931 scoped 3 ankles using a 4.0mm sheath without distraction, he found it too tight for satisfactory visualisation.

Tagaki (2,3) was the real father of the arthroscope. He developed a 2.7mm arthroscope. However, Watanabe (4) developed matters further - producing a self-focusing 1.7mm arthroscope - and arthroscoped 28 ankles, describing the standard portals and normal anatomy.

Andrews (5) wrote one of many texts on the subject in the late 80s. Guhl (6) developed a skeletal distractor for the ankle and wrote an excellent text.

Yates (7) was the first to develop a non-invasive distraction technique.

Ankle arthroscopy really came of age in the 90s with the development of 2.5mm arthroscopes, non-invasive distraction techniques and irrigation systems.

(1) Burman M S, ‘Arthroscopy, a direct visualization of joints: an experimental study’ JBJS(Am) 1931; 13(4):669
(2) Tagaki K, ‘The Arthroscope’ J Jap Orthop Assn 1939; a:14:359
(3) Tagaki K, ‘The Arthroscope: The second report’ J Jap Orthop Assn 1939; b:14:441
(4) Watanabe M, Takeda S, Ikeuchi H, Sakakibara J, ‘Development of the Selfoc Arthroscope’ J Jap Orthop Assn 1972; 46:154
(5) Andrews J R, Previte W J, Carson W G, ‘Arthroscopy of the ankle and normal anatomy’ Foot and Ankle 1985; 6:29
(6) Guhl J F, ‘Ankle arthroscopy : pathology and surgical techniques.’ Thorafore N J: Slack, 1988
(7) Yates C K, Grana W A, ‘A simple distraction technique for ankle arthroscopy’. Arthroscopy 1988; 4:103

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