Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure during which the internal structure of a joint is examined for diagnosis and treatment of problems inside the joint. Ankle Arthroscopy includes the diagnosis and treatment of ankle conditions. In arthroscopic examination, a small incision is made in the patient’s skin through which pencil sized instruments that have a small lens and lighting system (arthroscope) are passed. The Arthroscope magnifies and illuminates the structures of the joint with the light that is transmitted through fibre optics. It is attached to a television camera and the interior of the joint is seen on the television monitor.
Arthroscopic examination of the ankle joint is helpful in diagnosis and treatment of the following conditions:
Inflammation: Synovitis, the inflammation of the lining of the ankle joint.
Acute or chronic injury
Osteoarthritis: A type of arthritis caused by cartilage loss in a joint.
During arthroscopic ankle surgery, either a general or local anaesthetic will be given depending on the condition. A small incision the size of a buttonhole is made through which the arthroscope is inserted. Other accessory incisions will be made through which specially designed instruments are inserted. After the procedure is completed the arthroscope is removed and the incisions are closed. You may be instructed about care of the wounds, activities to be avoided and exercises to be performed for faster recovery.
Some of the conditions treated by ankle arthroscopy include:
- Ankle Arthritis
- Unstable ankle
- Ankle fracture
- Osteochondral Defects of the talus
- Undiagnosed ankle pain
Some of the possible complications after arthroscopy include infection, phlebitis (clotting of blood in the vein), excessive swelling, bleeding, blood vessel or nerve damage.
It may take several weeks for the puncture wounds to heal and the joint to recover completely. A rehabilitation programme may be advised for a speedy recovery of normal joint function.