Arthroscopy allows doctors to diagnose and/or treat many joint problems utilizing a minimally invasive surgical method. In this procedure a tiny camera, called an arthroscope, is introduced into the joint through a small incision. The video captured by the arthroscope is projected onto a viewing screen enabling the surgeon to see all of the structures in the joint in great detail. At the same time miniaturized surgical instruments to perform tasks associated with the diagnosis and repair of the joint are inserted through other incisions.
When indicated, an arthroscopic procedure has some advantages over an open surgery. Because smaller incisions are required and there is less disruption to surrounding structures, post-operative pain and recovery time is generally reduced. Additionally these operations can often be performed as outpatient procedures.
The complex design of the ankle makes it a very stable joint. It can withstand 1.5 times an individual’s body weight when walking, and up to eight times the body weight when running. Normal ankle function is necessary for a smooth and effortless gait. Any conditions or injuries that disturb the normal function of the ankle can make activities painful and difficult.
Arthroscopic ankle surgery is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat a wide range of ankle problems. It can be useful in treating a variety of intra-articular conditions such as those caused by trauma, degenerative changes, inflammatory conditions, neoplastic conditions, as well as investigating the source of unexplained ankle symptoms.
Because of its minimally invasive nature, ankle arthroscopy can most often be performed as an outpatient surgery. It is also generally associated with faster rehabilitation times than that which follows an open surgery. However the recovery and rehabilitation time following an arthroscopic ankle procedure ultimately depends on the individual case, the type of problem being addressed, and the extent of the surgery performed.