Ankle Arthroscopy

What is it?

Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique which used very small incisions to insert a camera (arthroscope) and instruments into the ankle joint.  This gives the surgeon an excellent view around the joint to diagnose problems and allows surgical procedures to be performed inside the joint in order to treat those problems.  Large incisions are avoided and recovery time is therefore reduced.

What can it be used for?

This procedure allows the surgeon to see what is causing your pain and to treat it.  Scar tissue and loose bodies can be removed. Also cartilage defects can be treated and bony spurs can be removed.  If the joint surface is severely damaged (arthritis) then a fusion procedure can be performed, guided by the images from the arthroscope.

What should I expect?

You will be admitted on the morning of surgery.  The procedure usually takes approximately 45 minutes.  After surgery your ankle will be in a bulky bandage and this can be taken down after 24hrs.  You will most likely be able to weight bear normally but this will depend on the procedure that has been undertaken – check with Mr Calder, Mr Elliot or the physiotherapist.  Sometimes you will need crutches for a few days, occasionally you will be asked to keep your weight off the foot for a number of weeks.

There will be two sutures at the front of your ankle that will need taking out after 2 weeks.