Ankle arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that uses a fiber-optic viewing camera and small surgical tools to operate in and around the ankle joint through small incisions. Ankle arthroscopy is performed for the surgical evaluation and treatment of a variety of ankle conditions
The procedure allows the doctor to detect problems and make repairs to your ankle without making larger cuts in the skin and tissue. This means that you may have less pain and recover more quickly.
During the procedure, the surgeon does the following:
- Inserts the arthroscope into your ankle through a small incision. The scope is connected to a video monitor in the operating room. This allows the surgeon to view the inside of your ankle.
- Inspects all the tissues of your ankle. These tissues include cartilage, bones, tendons, and ligaments.
- Repairs any damaged tissues. To do this, your surgeon makes 1 to 3 more small incisions and inserts other instruments through them. A tear in a muscle, tendon, or cartilage is fixed. Any damaged tissue is removed.
At the end of the surgery, the incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with a dressing (bandage). Most surgeons take pictures from the video monitor during the procedure to show you what they found and what repairs they made.
Your surgeon may need to do open surgery if there is a lot of damage. Open surgery means you will have a large incision so that the surgeon can get directly to your bones and tissues.
Why the Procedure Is Done
Arthroscopy may be recommended for these ankle problems:
- Ankle pain:Arthroscopy allows the surgeon to explore what is causing your ankle pain.
- Ligament tears:A ligament is a band of tissue that connects bone to bone. Several ligaments in the ankle help keep it stable and allow it to move. Torn ligaments can be repaired with this type of surgery.
- Ankle impingement:Tissues in your ankle can become swollen and sore from overuse. This makes it hard to move the joint. Arthroscopy can remove the tissue so you can move your joint.
- Scar tissue:This can form after an injury to the ankle. This surgery can remove scar tissue.
- Arthritis:Arthroscopy can be used to help reduce pain and improve movement.
- Cartilage injuries:This surgery can be used to diagnose or repair cartilage and bone injuries.