Ankle arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that involves the use of a small fiber-optic video camera known as arthroscope. The camera is used to magnify and transmit images of the ankle to a video monitor. The arthroscope is inserted into the ankle to enable the surgeon evaluate and treat patients using a small incision as opposed to open surgery.
For many patients experiencing ankle problems, the idea of surgery can be worrisome, causing them to delay treatment. They worry about the downtime, complications and a long road to recovery. While every case is unique, ankle arthroscopy is being used successfully to treat many types of ankle problems. The procedure eliminates most of the risks associated with open surgery while helping patients heal much faster.
Benefits of Ankle arthroscopy
Ankle arthroscopy has several advantages over an open ankle procedure that utilizes larger incisions, primarily:
- Risk of complications is lower with arthroscopy
- Arthroscopy can be performed on an outpatient basis
- Shorter recovery period and less scarring
It also allows for complete ankle joint visualization and it does not result in the formation of intra-articular scar tissue formation. With ankle arthroscopy, you can quickly resume your normal activities in few weeks (recovery time from open surgery is often several months).
Uses of Ankle Arthroscopy
It is used to treat problems in the ankle joint such as Ankle arthritis, ankle fractures, ankle instability anterior ankle impingement, arthrofibrosis, infection, loose debris, posterior ankle impingement, synovitis, Osteochondral defect (OCD), etc. The procedure reduces ankle pain, enhances overall function and provides quick recovery.
Ankle Arthroscopy Procedure
During ankle arthroscopy, the surgeon makes one or more small incision(s) in the ankle, to be used as portals for inserting the arthroscope. The arthroscope transmits a real-time video feed to a monitor in the operating room. The surgeon is able to see inside the ankle, paying close attention to the cartilage, bones, tendons and ligaments. The damaged tissues are then repaired. Arthroscopic surgery reduces trauma to surrounding tissue and cuts down on swelling, healing time, and the risk of infection. When the surgery is over, the surgeon closes up the incision using stitches.
In most cases, ankle arthroscopy is the preferred method for treating ankle joint problems. It involves few risks and complications as compared to open ankle surgeries. The incisions heal quickly and you are able to resume normal activities sooner.
If you’ve been putting off ankle surgery because of worries about the complications surrounding the procedure, you owe it to yourself to learn about all the treatment options. Ankle arthroscopy surgery is less invasive than open surgery, and may be right for you.
Schedule an appointment with Houston podiatrist Gabriel Maislos at Houston Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Maislos is a widely recognized podiatric surgeon with experience in treating all types of foot and ankle issues. Call (713) 541-3199 for an appointment.