Ankle Arthroscopic Surgery
The list of problems that this technology can be used for is:
- Osteochondral defect of the talus (also referred to as osteochondritis dessicans, OCDs, osteochondral fractures)
- Anterior Ankle Impingement (also referred to as “athlete’s ankle” or “footballer’s ankle”) and Anterolateral Ankle Impingement
- Posterior Ankle Impingement
- Loose Bodies
- Ankle Fractures
- Unexplained Ankle Symptoms
- Tibiotalar Arthritis
More about Treatment
Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that utilizes the technology of fiberoptics, magnifying lenses, and digital video monitors to allow the surgeon to directly visualize the inside of an ankle through small incisions. Several incisions, approximately half a centimeter in length, are fashioned about the ankle to allow for the insertion of an arthroscope, or small fiberoptic video camera, and/or special arthroscopic instruments. Sterile fluid is also circulated through the ankle to distend the joint, creating more space for the arthroscope and instruments. This also allows for better visibility within the ankle, space to maneuver instruments, and clearance of debris.
How is Ankle Arthroscopy Performed?
Ankle arthroscopy is generally performed as an outpatient surgery under general anesthesia with or without a regional pain block or epidural anesthetic with sedation. After adequate anesthesia is established, a tourniquet is applied to the leg, and the leg is prepped and draped in a sterile fashion. Mechanical distraction devices are sometimes used to help surgeons temporarily enlarge the potential space of the ankle. After the foot and ankle are appropriately positioned, at least two approximately 0.5mm incisions are made in the ankle. These incisions become the entry sites into the ankle, or portals, for the arthroscopic camera and instruments. These portals are placed strategically in an effort to avoid vessels and nerves. The incisions are made in the front or back of the ankle, or a combination of these. Sterile fluid is then allowed to flow through the ankle to further open the joint. The camera and instruments can then be exchanged between portals to perform the surgery. 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, are then applied. The patient is brought to the recovery area and is usually discharged home the same day with specific weightbearing and dressing care instructions.