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What to Know About the Process of Ankle Arthroscopy

by Camila Davidson

If you're experiencing persistent ankle pain or have sustained an ankle injury, ankle arthroscopy might be recommended by a podiatry surgeon. This minimally invasive procedure allows for a thorough examination and treatment of various ankle conditions. In this blog, we will explore what ankle arthroscopy entails and what you should know before undergoing the procedure.

Understanding Ankle Arthroscopy

Ankle arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that involves inserting a small camera, called an arthroscope, into the ankle joint. This allows the surgeon to visualize and treat various conditions within the joint, such as ankle instability, tendonitis, cartilage damage, and bone spurs. The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home the same day.

The Process


Before the surgery begins, you will be given anesthesia to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. The type of anesthesia used will depend on your specific case and your surgeon's recommendation.

Small Incisions

The surgeon will make one or several small incisions around the ankle to access the joint. These small incisions reduce scarring and minimize post-operative pain.

Arthroscopic Examination

The arthroscope is inserted through one of the incisions, and the surgeon examines the inside of the ankle joint using a monitor. This allows them to identify any issues and determine the best course of action.

Surgical Treatment

After identifying the problem, the surgeon may use specialized instruments inserted through additional incisions to repair or remove damaged tissue, trim bone spurs, or stabilize loose ligaments.

Closure and Recovery

Once the procedure is complete, the small incisions are closed with sutures or adhesive strips. You will likely need to wear a protective boot or cast and use crutches for a brief period to aid in healing. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on post-operative care, including pain management and rehabilitation exercises.

Benefits of Ankle Arthroscopy

Ankle arthroscopy offers several advantages over traditional open surgery, including:

Minimally Invasive

The small incisions used in ankle arthroscopy reduce the risk of infection, minimize scarring, and result in faster healing.

More Accurate Diagnosis

The arthroscope provides a clear view of the ankle joint, allowing for precise diagnosis and targeted treatment.

Faster Recovery Time

Compared to open surgery, ankle arthroscopy typically involves less pain and a shorter recovery period. This means you can return to your daily activities more quickly.

Lower Risk of Complications

Due to its minimally invasive nature, ankle arthroscopy carries a lower risk of complications such as deep vein thrombosis, wound infections, and nerve damage.

If you are experiencing ankle pain or have been diagnosed with a specific ankle condition, ankle arthroscopy may be a viable treatment option. Consult with a podiatry surgeon to determine if ankle arthroscopy is suitable for your case. Remember to ask questions, understand the process, and follow your surgeon's post-operative instructions to ensure a successful recovery and regain optimal ankle function. 

For more info, contact a local podiatrist