Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure during which the internal structures of a joint are examined using small incisions (key hole procedure).
Arthroscopic examination of ankle joint is helpful in diagnosis and treatment of many ankle conditions. Some of the conditions treated by ankle arthroscopy include arthritis, unstable ankle, osteochondral defects of the talus, loose bodies, soft tissue (scar) impingement, infection and undiagnosed ankle pain.
Arthroscopic ankle surgery is performed under either a general anaesthesia or regional anaesthesia depending on the medical condition. A small incision of the size of a key hole is made through which the arthroscope is inserted. Other accessory incisions will be made through which specially designed instruments are inserted. The incisions are closed at the end of the procedure and instructions are provided about the incision care, activities to be avoided and exercises to be performed for faster recovery.
Some of the possible complications after arthroscopy include infection, thrombosis (clots in the veins), excessive swelling, bleeding, blood vessel or nerve damage and instrument breakage.
It may take several weeks for the surgical incision to heal and the joint to recover completely. A physiotherapy program may be advised for a speedy recovery of the ankle joint function.