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Ankle Arthroscopy

Information covering the procedure of an arthroscopy of the ankle is outlined here. Contact your doctor or the relevant healthcare professional should you require further advice.

What is an arthroscopy of the ankle?

An arthroscopy is not a highly invasive procedure. The procedure allows the surgeon to inspect the interior of your ankle by using a camera inserted through small cuts to the ankle area. The surgeon is able to identify problems like damage to the joint surface or ligaments and arthritis.


Figure 1
Arthroscopy of the ankle
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What are the main benefits of this type of surgery?

Identification of the problem and treatment can be carried out at the same time by the surgeon.

What are the alternatives?

An MRI scan can show any problems within the ankle. However, should you require surgery, it is probable that an arthroscopy procedure would be used.

What happens during the procedure?

A variety of anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation is usually completed within forty five minutes. A camera is inserted by the surgeon into small cuts made around the ankle area. Loose fragments of bone and tissue caused by wear to the surface of the ankle joint can be removed by the surgeon. Swelling to the lining of the ankle joint can also be removed.

If you have torn your ankle ligaments, reconstruction surgery may be required.

What complications can occur?

General complications

  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Scarring
  • Blood clots
  • Difficulty passing urine

Specific complications

  • Infection within the joint
  • Nerve damage around the ankle
  • Swelling and tightness of the calf muscle (compartment syndrome)
  • Pain, stiffness and loss of use of the ankle (complex regional pain syndrome)

How long will it take to recover?

You will probably be discharged on the same day as the operation. Expect the ankle to be slightly swollen for a week or two. Initially you will experience some discomfort, especially whilst walking. Daily exercise will speed up your recovery. But before you start, check with your doctor or the relevant healthcare professional for advice. The majority of patients make a good recovery and can soon get back to everyday life.

Summary

By using an arthroscopy your surgeon is able to diagnose and treat common complaints in relation to the ankle. The operation only requires a small incision, reducing the pain you may feel, and post operation the recovery time is reduced.

References: 

EIDO Healthcare Limited - The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare. 

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

 

 

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