Dr Jeff Ling & Dr David Lunz
Sydney Orthopaedic Specialists: Foot & Ankle Institute
An ankle arthroscopy is an operation to assess the ankle joint and treat a variety of conditions through key-hole incisions. A small camera and various instruments are passed into the joint through very small incisions and these allow the surgeon to evaluate the ankle and treat most abnormalities.
The advantages of an arthroscopy are that there is less pain than with an open operation, the recovery is quicker and there is less scarring and fewer complications than with open surgery.
Surgery is performed as a day procedure.
- Cartilage damage (osteochondral lesion)
- Ligament damage from a sprain
- Synovitis or inflammation in the joint
- Removal of loose bodies
- Removal of bone spurs
- You need to fast for 6 hours before the procedure.
- A general anaesthetic is needed.
- A tourniquet is placed around your leg to stop bleeding during the procedure.
- Small incisions less than 1 cm are made and the camera and instruments are inserted into the ankle joint.
- The joint is inspected and any abnormality is addressed. - The key-holes are sutured and a dressing is applied.
Afterwards:Pain relief – local anaesthetic is given at the time of your surgery. When you wake up you may find your foot feels numb. Occasionally there is some pain which will be controlled with pain killers. You will also receive painkillers and anti-inflammatories to take home. Use these at the first sign of pain as directed.
Mobility – The physiotherapist will see you after surgery and get you up walking. Usually crutches are required for the first few days. You will need to keep your foot up when not walking for 48-72 hours. If you have a ligament reconstruction you may not weightbear for the first couple of weeks.
Dressings – Leave your dressings intact until your follow-up visit. Keep them dry by covering with a plastic bag in the shower. If they do get wet, call your respective surgeon's office.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. Patients should discuss their particular situation with the doctors of Sydney Orthopaedic Specialists: Foot & Ankle Institute.