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The Ins and Outs of Ankle Arthroscopy

Everyone, especially athletes, wants to avoid surgery at all costs. However, if you have a severe ankle sprain, repeated injuries, or debris in the ankle from torn cartilage, the doctor may recommend ankle arthroscopy.

It is important to understand the risks and benefits of any surgery before signing the consent. Understanding if ankle arthroscopy is the best option for your injury will help you have an informed discussion with your surgeon.

What Happens During Ankle Arthroscopy?

The doctor inserts a small fiber-optic camera through an incision, which projects the view onto a monitor. The surgeon then uses small tools to repair tissue damage while using the monitor as guidance. The method offers an accurate technique, with small incisions and minimal risk to patients.

Because it is less invasive than open surgery, recovery time is significantly less. There is also less scarring and fewer complications with ankle arthroscopy.

Surgeons can perform the surgery under local or general anesthesia, depending on what they are trying to accomplish. General anesthesia is where IV medications are given, so the patient goes into a deep sleep to perform the repair. With local anesthesia, the patient is given a nerve block and light sedation to remain relaxed and comfortable.

Does Ankle Arthroscopy Work?

Ankle arthroscopy does work to correct four major causes of ankle pain and inflammation:

  • Ankle cartilage damage

Ankle arthroscopy restores normal cartilage surface to the joint. The procedure aims to repair damaged cartilage or stimulate new cartilage growth.

  • Removing bone spurs in the ankle

Arthroscopy can be used to shave down bone spurs, allowing for better movement of the ankle joint

  • Treatment of Pain

Usually, pain in the ankle is best repaired when it is posterior. Arthroscopic surgery can help forms of tendonitis or spurs that occur in the back of the ankle

  • Removing debris and repairing scar tissue

Through the surgery, doctors remove debris or scar tissue that inhibits motion. The repair helps with a long term reduction in swelling and pain in the joint

What Happens After Ankle Arthroscopy

Once the surgery is complete, the patients go to a recovery room where vital signs are monitored. Once stable, patients can go home to rest.

In order to protect the ankle, it is often braced or put in a splint. Plus, to maintain a good range of motion, physical therapy is usually recommended. Pain meds may also be prescribed.

Just as with an ankle injury, ice and elevation are necessary to heal best. Recovery time varies based on the procedure performed and the patient's prior health history. Often people can return to most activities of daily living within a few days.

Within a few weeks, patients notice a remarkable improvement in healing and mobility in their ankles. Usually, the symptoms that prompted surgery are eliminated so patients can live a fully functional life.

How Do I Find a Doctor of Orthopedic Sports Medicine Near Me?

If you have debilitating ankle pain, you may benefit from an ankle arthroscopy. Through consultation at one of our clinics, you can get the right diagnosis and treatment plan.

We have providers at the following locations:

With our latest technology and skilled doctors, you are in good hands.

For inquiries, contact us or call us at 770-427-5717.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.