Ankle arthroscopy is a process in which, problems in the internal regions of the ankle is diagnosed for damage and treated.This procedure is carried out with the help of a tiny fiber-optic camera called the arthroscope which enables the visualisation of the internal regions,as it is connected to a monitor or screen. Ankle arthroscopy is currently used in the treatment of ankle conditions such as impingement syndrome and ankle instability. Ankle arthroscopy is used for the revoval of loose bodies and bone spurs from the ankle joint.
Ankle impingement syndrome is the formation of bone spur in the front portion of the ankle joint.This results in the inflammation and pain in the ankle. This condition can be treated arthroscopically. During the arthroscopic procedure the bone spur is shaved and removed.Ankle impingement syndrome is also known as athlete’s ankle or footballer’s ankle.
Ankle arthritis is the inflammation of the ankle joints. This can be treated by the tradional method of ankle fusion . But currently, minimally invasive arthroscopic surgeries are preferred.
Loose bodies are small parts of bone or cartilage broken off from the ankle joint . The cause for loose body formation are the activities involving repetitive usage of ankles such as kicking a football.These loose bodies cause pain and locking of the ankle which eventually cause more damage to the joint and the surrounding cartilages. Therefore these loose bodies are to be removed surgically. This can be acomplished arthroscopically.
Ankle instability is caused due to overstretching of the ligaments that surround the ankle joint. The ligments needs to be tightened and can be done arthroscopically.
Ankle arthroscopy is an minimally invasive surgery. Ankle arthroscopy is usually performed under general or regional anesthesia. During this procedure, the surgeon makes different portals carefully at different regions of the ankle joint through which the ankle joint is accessed.Care is taken not to damage or to minimize the damage that might be caused to nerves,blood vessels or tendons surrounding the ankle joint. Through these portals, camera and other surgical instruments are inserted.Then the loose pieces of bone and bone spurs removed or ligaments are tightened as per the damage of the ankle using the instruments such as burrs that are inserted through the portals.Once the procedure is completed , the incisions are stitched together and dressed.
Risks invoved with ankle arthroscopy is the same as any other arthroscopic surgeries such as formation of blood clots, blood loss, or damage to nerves, infection,stiffness of the ankle,thrombophlebitis or equipment failure.
Once the surgery is done the patient can leave the hospital the same day. The recovery period is usually estimated to be two weeks. Howeer the patient can start waliking with one to two days after the surgery. With physical therapy and good care, total recovery is possible for most of the patients and they regain normal flexibility of the ankle.
Some of the advantages of the ankle arthroscopy are the faster recovery, short or no hospitalization, reduction of pain in the ankle joints , small scars of operation and lower infection rates.