Ankle Arthroscopy

Why Ankle Arthroscopy Is A Preferred Procedure

Ankle arthroscopy is minimally invasive ankle surgery in which very small surgical tools are used, the incisions, usually two, are also quite small, and a miniature camera is used to help direct the surgical procedure as well as look for and examine the source of the problem. Ankle arthroscopy cannot be used for all types of ankle problems, but fortunately is an option for many different types. Because it is less invasive, there is usually less recovery pain involved, recovery is faster, and the chances of infection are lessened considerably.

Less Risk Of Permanent Damage - Arthroscopic surgery is performed on other parts of the body as well, with the knee joint being one of the areas where this type of surgery is fairly common. Athletes in particular are grateful when this type of surgery is an option, as conventional surgery on a knee, ankle, or wrist carries a higher risk of the injury and subsequent surgery resulting in the culmination of an athletic career.

The ankle joint is usually the target for ankle arthroscopy. Part of the surgical procedure involves feeding fluid under high pressure into the ankle joint to distend it so that work on the joint can proceed. The area occupied by the ankle joint is quite small, making a surgical procedure difficult unless the joint is distended somewhat.

Candidates For Ankle Arthroscopy - Ankle arthroscopy is often the method employed to resolve problems associated with arthritis in the ankle joint. It is also effective in resolving structural issues which may be causing instability in the ankle, and is usually the procedure of choice when the ankle is injured as the result of kicking either a ball or a hard object. Bits of bone or cartilage due to injuries such as sprains and fractures can effectively be dealt with using arthroscopic surgery. Other disorders that lend themselves to this type of surgery are diseases of the synovium, soft tissue within the ankle joint which produces the synovial fluid that nourishes cartilage and lubricates the joint.

Sometimes, in the event of an ankle injury such as a bad sprain or a fracture, arthroscopy may be used primarily to examine the ankle and ankle joint to determine what steps need to be taken, whether the condition can be repaired using arthroscopic techniques or whether conventional ankle surgery will be required.

Advantages To The Patient - From the patient's perspective, the advantages of this type of surgery include less recovery pain, as mentioned above, and a hospital stay is rarely required. The patient will spend a few hours in the recovery room following the procedure, and then will be allowed to go home. What the patient can or cannot do will depend upon what the surgery consisted of, in other words what was fixed, but in many cases, the patient can put weight on the ankle within 24 hours following the surgery. In some instances, crutches may be needed for a few days.

Ankle arthroscopy also means less scarring will take place, although our ankles are one area where small scarring usually isn't a major concern. The incisions are for the most part less than an inch long, and a wound that small when properly closed seldom leaves much in the way of a scar.

The patient may feel some pain, and is usually given pain killers immediately following surgery. The extent and duration of the pain depends upon how much tissue or bone was disturbed during the operation, but the whole point of this type of a procedure is to disturb as little as possible and consequently, the amount of pain tends to be minimal.