Ankle arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that uses a fiber-optic viewing camera and small surgical tools to operate in and around the ankle joint through small incisions. Ankle arthroscopy is performed for the surgical evaluation and treatment of a variety of ankle conditions. Arthroscopic surgery can have a quicker recovery time than traditional open surgery.
Ankle arthroscopy is a relatively safe procedure with low complication rates.
In general, you should refrain from eating or drinking the day of the surgery. Check with your surgeon regarding prescription medications and herbal medications that you may be taking. The surgeon may ask you not to take blood-thinning agents such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin) for a few days prior to the surgery. Arrange for transportation home after the procedure if it is an outpatient procedure.
You will be brought to the operating room and prepped for anesthesia and surgery. An IV line will be started. The ankle, foot, and leg will be exposed, cleaned, and sterilized. Depending on the type of anesthesia chosen, a tube may be placed in your throat to assist with breathing, once you are asleep. The ankle will be numbed locally or with a regional anesthetic block. Once you are anesthetized, small incisions will be made for the portals.
The portals, or small tubes, will be placed in different areas around the ankle for the instruments and camera to be placed in. The surgeon will then perform the procedure. Afterward, the instruments and portals will be removed. The small incisions will be stitched closed and bandaged.
You will be taken to the recovery room for monitoring while waking up from the anesthesia.
After leaving the hospital, you should follow the rehabilitation instructions your surgeon gives you. You should not rush the rehabilitation without consulting the surgeon. Follow-up visits should be arranged.
Watch for signs of infection or compartment syndrome (see below). Both are emergencies. Seek immediate medical care by calling your doctor or the surgeon immediately.
If signs or symptoms of an infection occur, call your doctor. Signs of an infection include
Watch for signs of compartment syndrome, a rare but dangerous condition. Compartment syndrome occurs when the pressure of the tissues in a compartment, in this case, in your ankle or calf, is higher than the blood pressure of the vessels supplying that area. The swelling could be responsible for causing this condition. Or a cast or wrapping that is too tight could also result in this condition. The tissues of the ankle are not receiving adequate nutrition, which impairs the ability of the body to heal. Ultimately, this could lead to death of the tissues involved. Things to watch for include the following:
If you suspect you have an infection in the ankle or compartment syndrome, call your doctor or surgeon immediately for instructions on where to go for treatment. If instructed to do so, or if you are unable to contact your doctor, go to an emergency department.