The foot and the ankle are crucial for human movement. The balanced action of many bones, joints, muscles and tendons allows our feet to adapt to the shape of the terrain and push off from the ground. Ankle injuries are usually caused by twisting or rolling your ankle and often happen on uneven ground. The most common type of ankle injury is a sprained joint. This is where the ligaments, muscles, tendons have been torn or stretched. Sometimes an ankle injury can also include a broken bone in the ankle.
An arthroscopy of the foot or ankle can last from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of the procedure and extent of pathological changes. Throughout the operation, the joint is continually irrigated with an electrolyte solution, which distends it, controls bleeding and washes out loose debris; this ensures good visibility. Generally, two to three arthroscopic incisions are made above the site of surgery. Through them the arthroscope and the necessary instruments are introduced. At the conclusion of the procedure, small sutures are placed in the skin to close the portals. A sterile compressive dressing, and sometimes a splint or boot (based on the nature of the procedure), are then applied.
Are you a candidate?
Here are factors to consider:
- Do you have persistent ankle instability?
- Do you have chronic ankle pain after months of not responding to non-surgical treatment?
- Do you have pain at the back of the ankle?
- Does your ankle keep giving way?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then Ankle arthroscopy is worth exploring.
Post Op Recovery
After your operation, once you are back on the ward, the physiotherapist will teach you how to use crutches and ensure you are walking safely. You will generally be able to put as much weight through the ankle as is comfortable. You will be informed if your instructions differ from this as may be the case with certain conditions, or if the arthroscopy is done alongside another procedure.
Realistically, you can begin to build up your activity from two weeks after your operation, but it will probably take at least four weeks before more vigorous sporting activity will be possible.
After Surgery Benefits
- Improved function
- Reduction of pain and anxiety
- Pain relief
- Improved ankle range of motion
- Improved stability (stopping your ankle giving way)