What is ankle arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat injuries and abnormalities within the joints. The arthroscopy procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery and allows the doctor to view and repair joints without making a large incision.
Only a small incision is need for an arthroscopy and small instruments are guided by a tiny camera that transmits images onto a computer screen. Accurate diagnosis and precise surgical treatment may be performed using the arthroscopy method.
What is ankle arthroscopy used for?
Ankle arthroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat a wide range of ankle conditions and relieve the chronic pain frequently associated with them. Ankle arthroscopy is often successful in treating:
- Scar tissue
- Osteochondral lesions of talus
- Bone spurs
While ankle surgery once required an invasive open procedure that left patients with longer recovery times, many of those procedures can now be performed with the simpler, less invasive arthroscopy.
How is the ankle arthroscopy procedure performed?
Ankle arthroscopy is performed on an outpatient basis and uses tiny incisions to access the ankle joint. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia. During the arthroscopy, a camera tube called an arthroscope is inserted into one of the incisions and small surgical instruments into the others. The arthroscope allows the surgeon to visually examine the ankle joint and guide the instruments to the area for treatment. The most common condition is treatment of osteochondral lesions of the talus or tibia. This can involve microfracture, platelet rich plasma or bone marrow aspirate as part of the arthroscopic treatment. The arthroscopy procedure usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to perform. During the procedure, some patients may experience pressure on the joints. Exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for six weeks after this procedure.
What are the benefits of the arthroscopy procedure?
Arthroscopy offers many benefits over a traditional open surgery because of its minimally invasive nature. This procedure has reduced the trauma associated with many ankle procedures, and offers patients the opportunity to get relief from their pain through a simple outpatient procedure. Ankle arthroscopy offers patients:
- Shorter recovery times
- Less scarring
- Less bleeding
- Smaller incisions
After an arthroscopy, most patients experience less pain and discomfort than with traditional surgery.