What is an ankle arthroscopy?

September 2nd, 2016 by LOC Team

Ankle arthroscopy is a type of operation performed on the ankle through keyhole incisions. Using the latest technology, doctors can perform all types of different surgeries in this way with many advantages over traditional surgery methods. Firstly, the ankle is prone to respond badly to open incisions, thus, complications are likely to occur when open surgery is performed on the ankle.

Depending on which is more appropriate to you, an ankle arthroscopy can be an in and out in a day surgery or you might have to spend the night. In both cases, the surgery is performed under general anaesthetic.

During your surgery, a small telescope will be inserted into your ankle through two to three small puncture wounds, the telescope is only about 3 to 4 millimetres in diameter but it allows the surgeons to see the area and operate on it. These operations can really be on anything in your ankle, including damaged cartilage, bone spurs and inflamed soft tissue.

After your operation and while you are still in the hospital, you will have a padded bandage wrapped around your ankle (this can come off after 24 hours) you won’t harm your ankle if you move it gently within this bandage. It is very important that you begin moving your ankle as quickly as possible as your ankle will become stiff and your muscles weak if you don’t. Before going home, you will be sent to a physiotherapist who will give you some exercises and explain what they are for. The exercises given to you are designed to help you get back your full range of movement as quickly as possible.

After being sent home, you can remove the bandage. You may notice the slits have stitches or steristrips keeping them together. Cover these up with a dressing and try your best to keep your ankle dry for two weeks. You can take a shower after 48 hours, as long as you keep the wound dry, you can find waterproof dressings to help you with this. The reason you need to keep the wound dry is to help it heal. After 7 days, you can remove the steristrips, they may have already come off by then which is fine but don’t take them off yourself before this time.

Before you leave the hospital, you will be given a Tubigrip support. You should wear this during the day while at home, but remember to take it off at night. It is likely that your ankle will swell up after the operation so you will most likely need to take some painkillers for the first few days. You can also use ice packs to help with the swelling and pain.

All in all, it should take you about three weeks to recover if you have had a soft tissue operation. If you have had an operation on the bone then that is a 6 week recovery time.

We hope that this article has helped you understand what an ankle arthroscopy is. Please explore our website to find out about the common conditions that can cause you to need this operation.


This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material provided on this Site is provided for information purposes only. Always seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, before applying any diet, exercise, other health program, or other procedure set out on this Site.

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