What conditions can be treated with ankle arthroscopy?
Ankle arthroscopy can be used to address and alleviate pain for a range of conditions of the ankle including, but not limited to:
- Ankle instability
- Ankle impingement
- Cartilage tears
- Ligament tears
- Osteochondral injury of the talus
- Some forms of tendonitis
- As an addition to treatment of ankle fractures
The primary benefit of ankle arthroscopy is that it allows your surgeon to make repairs to the ankle by means of small incisions rather than making larger cuts in the skin and tissue. This results in less pain and faster recovery than traditional open ankle surgery. A pre-operative MRI is typically completed to help guide the surgery.
How is arthroscopic ankle surgery performed?
Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat a wide range of ankle conditions. It is a safe and effective procedure with a low risk of complications. Ankle arthroscopy is typically performed on an outpatient basis using general with local anesthesia and depending on the condition being treated, patients can often return to normal activities a few weeks after ankle surgery.
During the procedure, at least two incisions are made, one to insert the arthroscope (tiny camera) and the other to insert the instruments that will be used by your surgeon. The scope is attached to a video monitor that allows the surgeon a clear view of the inside of the ankle. He will assess the joint, including bone, cartilage, and ligaments. Once a determination is made and his initial diagnosis is confirmed, The doctor will insert instruments through the small incisions to either repair the ligament, fix an injury to the cartilage, or remove damaged tissue. The procedure is typically done on an outpatient basis.
At the completion of the procedure, the incisions are closed with stitches and/or steri-strips and the wound is dressed. Depending on the surgery required, you may be placed in a boot or splint to protect the joint. After the surgery, the post-operative rehabilitation protocol, including frequency and limitations on physical therapy, will be decided.
What is the recovery period and will physical therapy be required?
Depending on the condition that was being addressed and the specific techniques performed, recovery can range between 4-12 weeks post-surgery before patients can expect to return to normal activity. Following the surgery, patients may be asked to wear a brace or boot and will be guided as to how and when to wear it, and when it can be removed. Physical therapy is often an integral part of recovery, making the joint stronger and less susceptible to re-injury. Dr. Haytmanek or Dr. Backus will give their patients an individualized plan for therapy and recovery.