The ankle is a complex joint composed of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons that supports the weight of your body and allows you to move. Each of these components works together

when you walk, run, dance, jump, play sports and exercise. Because it is involved in so many activities performed throughout the day, the ankle is highly susceptible to both acute injury and damage from overuse.

The healthcare professionals at Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio are dedicated to the treatment of a wide range of ankle conditions and injuries using the most advanced techniques. When conservative methods are unable to heal an injury or provide sufficient pain relief, a surgical approach may be the next treatment step. Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive surgical technique that uses a viewing camera and small instruments to operate around the ankle joint through short incisions.

Understanding Ankle Arthroscopy

The word arthroscopy originates from two Greek words, “arthro” (joint) and “skopein” (to view, look or observe). Orthopaedic physicians use arthroscopy in the literal meaning of the word — to look within the joint. Arthroscopy is used to examine, diagnose and treat a variety of joint problems without making a large incision. It is most often performed on the knee, shoulder, elbow and ankle.

During ankle arthroscopy, a doctor inserts a viewing device called an arthroscope into the ankle through a small incision. The arthroscope contains a camera lens and a light, and is connected to a monitor that displays the image from the camera. This allows the physician to visualize the interior of the joint. If repair is needed, thin surgical tools can be inserted through additional small incisions as needed. Ankle arthroscopy is significantly less invasive than traditional open surgery. For patients, this means fewer complications, a speedier recovery and less scarring.

Reasons for Ankle Arthroscopy

Ankle arthroscopy has numerous applications, including identifying and/or treating the following conditions:

  • Synovitis
  • Loose fragments of bone or cartilage
  • Torn ligaments
  • Osteochondral defects (OCD) of the talus bone
  • Ankle impingement
  • Infection
  • Arthritis
  • Ankle instability
  • Chronic pain
  • Catching, clicking, popping or locking
  • Decreased range of motion

Is Ankle Arthroscopy Right for You?

Your safety and comfort are our highest priorities. Although ankle arthroscopy is a safe treatment with low complication rates, it is not right for everyone. Patients with certain medical conditions or active infections may not be eligible for ankle arthroscopy. Patients with advanced ankle damage may require open surgery to thoroughly address their needs. The ideal candidates for ankle arthroscopy suffer from one or more of the concerns listed above, are in good health generally and have reasonable expectations of what can be achieved with this technique. Our physicians will carefully review your symptoms and medical history to determine whether ankle arthroscopy is an appropriate treatment.

Ankle Arthroscopy Surgery Overview

On the day of your ankle arthroscopy procedure, you will be prepared for anesthesia and your ankle will be exposed, cleaned and sterilized. Your physician will begin the procedure by making small incisions in different areas around the ankle for the camera and surgical instruments. If your ankle arthroscopy is diagnostic, only the camera and its accompanying incision are needed. If your condition can be treated arthroscopically, accessory incisions will be made to give specially-designed instruments access to the joint. When the procedure is complete, the arthroscopic tools will be removed and the incisions will be closed and bandaged.

Ankle Arthroscopy Recovery

After arthroscopic surgery, you will be able to go home and recuperate in comfortable surroundings. Before you are discharged, you will be given instructions regarding care for your incisions, activities to avoid, weightbearing guidelines and exercises to perform to aid your recovery. Many patients need little or no medication to manage postoperative pain. The severity of your ankle condition and the type of repair made during the procedure will determine how long your recovery lasts, as well as how your ankle may be immobilized and what kind of physical therapy you may need.

You will return at a later date for a follow-up visit during which your physician will monitor your healing and remove sutures if necessary. It is important to attend these appointments as recommended to ensure a safe and smooth recovery.

Schedule a Consultation With Ohio’s Ankle Experts

At the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio, we are dedicated to helping our patients get back to the life they love as safely and quickly as possible. An ankle injury or condition can not only cause pain, it can limit mobility and profoundly diminish your quality of life. If you are suffering, contact the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio today at 419-222-6622. Our world-class team is Lima’s choice for expert orthopaedic care.