An ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used for the diagnosis and treatment of various ankle joint conditions.
This procedure allows your surgeon to examine the bones, ligaments, cartilage, and other structures in the ankle, and perform various treatments, such as repairing ligaments.
What Can an Ankle Arthroscopy Treat?
Some common conditions this procedure can treat include:
· Ankle arthritis.
· Ankle impingement.
· Loose bodies within the joint.
· Ligament reconstruction.
· Undiagnosed ankle pain.
· Cartilage lesions.
· Tendon issues.
Advantages of Ankle Arthroscopy
As it is a minimally invasive surgery, ankle arthroscopy offers many advantages such as:
· Fast recovery time.
· Reduced pain after surgery.
· Minor scarring.
· Enhanced precision.
· Quicker recovery.
Ankle Arthroscopy Step-by-Step
Generally, during this procedure, your surgeon will follow these steps:
1. Anesthesia: General or regional anesthesia can be used for this procedure.
2. Incisions: Your surgeon will make a few incisions around your ankle to insert the arthroscope and other surgical tools in case there’s a need to repair any damage.
3. Arthroscope Insertion: After the incisions are made, your surgeon will insert an arthroscope through one of them. This tool will allow them to have a clear view of the inside of the ankle.
4. Joint Inspection: A saline solution will be pumped into your ankle joint to expand the space and improve visualization. Then, your surgeon will examine the structures inside the joint.
5. Diagnostic and Treatment: The arthroscope will allow your surgeon to diagnose various ankle conditions, such as ligament tears and cartilage injuries. Depending on the diagnosis, your surgeon may perform various procedures to address the specific ankle condition.
6. Closure: After the necessary procedures are completed, the arthroscope and surgical instruments are removed, and the small incisions are closed with sutures.
An arthroscopy typically takes around an hour to complete, but the duration may vary depending on your specific case.
Recovery After Surgery
Recovery after ankle arthroscopy can take a few months. During this time you might need crutches or wear a splint on your ankle to keep weight off the operated ankle and allow it to heal properly.
You will also have to begin physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises. This way you will strengthen the muscles around your joint and enhance its stability.
Throughout the recovery process, it is essential to follow your surgeon's instructions carefully and attend all follow-up appointments.