Ankle arthroscopy is surgery that uses a tiny camera and surgical tools to examine or repair the tissues inside or around your ankle. The camera is called an arthroscope. 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 than open surgery.
Ankle surgery; Arthroscopy - ankle; Surgery - ankle - arthroscopy; Surgery - ankle - arthroscopic
You will likely receive general anesthesia before this surgery. This means you will be asleep and unable to feel pain. Or, you will have regional anesthesia. Your leg and ankle area will be numbed so that you do not feel any pain. If you receive regional anesthesia, you will also be given medicine to make you very sleepy during the operation.
During the procedure, the surgeon does the following:
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 Performed
Arthroscopy may be recommended for these ankle problems:
Risks of anesthesia and surgery in general are:
Risks of ankle arthroscopy are:
Before the Procedure
Tell your health care provider what medicines you are taking. This includes medicines, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
On the day of surgery:
After the Procedure
Arthroscopy uses small cuts in the skin. Compared to regular surgery, you may have:
The small cuts will heal quickly, and you may be able to resume your normal activities in a few days. But, if a lot of tissue in your ankle had to be repaired, it may take several weeks to heal. How quickly you heal depends on how complicated the surgery was.
You may be shown how to do gentle exercises as you heal. Or, your doctor may recommend that you see a physical therapist to help you regain the full use of your ankle.
Cerrato R, Campbell J, Triche R. Ankle arthroscopy. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 114.
Ishikawa S. Arthroscopy of the foot and ankle. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 50.
Review Date: 5/9/2015
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.