If you have been suffering from ankle pain, arthroscopic ankle surgery may be an effective treatment option. This minimally invasive procedure will repair damaged cartilage and help to relieve pain caused by the damaged cartilage. Depending on the severity of your injury the surgery recovery could take 4 to 6 weeks but generally the recovery time for an arthroscopic surgery is much faster than regular open surgery.  If you suffer from chronic ankle pain, your physician may have recommended this procedure or you may be researching arthroscopic ankle surgery. Whatever the case, in this article we’ll review the procedure and recovery process.

Arthroscopic Ankle Surgery Procedure

You will be brought to an operating room where your ankle will be cleaned and sterilized and you’ll also be prepared for anesthesia. Once you are anesthetized, the surgeon will make small incisions to your ankle and inject a fluid into the ankle joint. This fluid will help to expand the joint which will help the surgeon to get a better visual of the damaged cartilage and more space to operate.

Now that the joint is expanded, the surgeon will insert an arthroscope that has a camera and will allow him to inspect the damaged area by using the video images.  Once the damaged cartilage is found, the surgeon will use special tools to remove the damaged cartilage from your ankle. After the damaged cartilage is removed, the surgeon may drill small holes in the bone area to cause bleeding. When the blood clots, it will create repair cartilage.  With the damaged cartilage removed and the repair cartilage developing, the tools are removed and the incisions are closed.

The Recovery

After the surgical procedure, you may be allowed to use crutches to minimize the pressure put on your ankle, or your foot may be put in an immobilizer like a walking cast or a splint for 4 to 6 weeks.  The length of time and the type of immobilizer used is dependent on the severity of injury. Your physician will give you rehabilitation instructions and it’s important you follow those instructions and not attempt to start rehab too early or never do any rehab at all.

Leading Foot & Ankle Surgeons

If you have any questions about arthroscopic ankle surgery or any pain or foot related injury, the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute has the leading foot and ankle surgeons in the Chicagoland area. Find an office near you or contact one of our expert physicians.