Ankle arthroscopy is a technique that involves the surgical evaluation and treatment of many conditions of the ankle. Arthroscopy involves the use of fiber optic cameras and small surgical tools to perform surgery through much smaller incisions than traditional surgery. The technique leaves less scarring and fewer complications. Some conditions that commonly require ankle arthroscopy include debris within the ankle resulting from torn cartilage or bone-chip, and ligament damage from a severely sprained ankle.
Several small incisions will be made around the ankle and small surgical instruments will be positioned inside the incisions.
Next, a tube-like needle will be inserted within one of the incisions and will pump fluid into the ankle joint. The fluid expands the joint, making it easier on the surgeon to see inside the joint. The tube is also used as a drainage needle to regulate the amount of fluid in the joint during the procedure.
The surgeon will look for damaged tissue using the video images as a guide. If a problem needs treated, many small surgical instruments can fit through the third incision hole.
The incisions may be closed with stitches or tape. Recovery from arthroscopy is much faster than traditional joint surgery.