Ankle arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that involves the use of an arthroscope, a small, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end, to visualize and treat problems within the ankle joint. This procedure is considered minimally invasive, as it requires only small incisions rather than a large opening.
Here’s an overview of the key aspects of ankle arthroscopy:
- Indications for Ankle Arthroscopy:
- Diagnostic purposes: To identify the cause of unexplained ankle pain or other symptoms.
- Therapeutic interventions: To treat various conditions within the ankle joint, such as removing loose bodies, repairing ligaments, addressing cartilage damage, and treating inflammation.
- Small incisions (portals) are made around the ankle.
- An arthroscope is inserted through one of the incisions, allowing the surgeon to visualize the interior of the ankle joint on a monitor.
- Additional instruments may be introduced through other incisions to perform necessary procedures.
- Conditions Treated with Ankle Arthroscopy:
- Osteochondral defects: Damage to the cartilage and underlying bone.
- Ankle impingement: Abnormal contact between structures in the ankle joint.
- Synovitis: Inflammation of the synovial lining of the joint.
- Tendon disorders: Conditions affecting the tendons around the ankle.
- Loose bodies: Small fragments of bone or cartilage within the joint.
- Minimally Invasive: Smaller incisions result in less damage to surrounding tissues.
- Quicker Recovery: Generally associated with a faster recovery compared to open surgery.
- Diagnostic and Therapeutic: Allows both the diagnosis and treatment of conditions during the same procedure.
- Patients may need a period of rest and rehabilitation.
- Physical therapy is often prescribed to help restore strength and mobility.
- The specific recovery timeline depends on the nature of the procedure and the individual patient.
While ankle arthroscopy has many advantages, it may not be suitable for all ankle conditions. The choice of surgical approach depends on factors such as the diagnosis, the extent of the problem, and the surgeon’s expertise. It’s essential for patients to discuss their specific case with Dr. Christensen to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.