Arthroscopic surgery (commonly referred to as “scope”) is a procedure where a small buttonhole is introduced inside the joint and a fiberoptic is used to look around the inside and determine what the issue is. A second hole is then made and instruments can be introduced through this hole to fix any damage that is inside the joint. The joints that are primarily treated are the ankle and subtalar joint because the location has to be large enough to introduce instruments in order to fix the problem.
A person who has severe pain in their ankle is likely a good candidate for Arthroscopic Surgery. If you have pain in the front of your ankle, a feeling of instability, or decreased ankle range of motion when you try to bring your toes up, you may have anterior ankle joint impingement. The reason the joint gets impinged is usually because of soft tissue that is being pinched in the front of the ankle. This is quite easily removed and often successfully treated with arthroscopy. Sometimes the anterior impingement is caused by bone growth, which could also be removed with the scope procedure.
Another condition of the ankle that can be successfully treated with the scope is “osteochondral lesions”. Osteochondral means “bone-cartilage”. It is somewhat like a terrible bruise that goes through the cartilage and into the bone. In some cases, pain in the back of the ankle can also be treated with arthroscopy and loose bodies can also be removed from the ankle joint.
Arthroscopy offers an opportunity to have surgery with minimal soft tissue disruption, which categorizes it as minimally invasive surgery. These are quite nice because the pain following surgery is typically much less and there is significantly less scar tissue. Also, there is usually much less swelling and the success rates are comparable to more traditional surgery. If you suffer from pain, ankle instability, or another condition mentioned, ask us about Arthroscopic Surgery and we can decide together if it’s the right solution for you. ■
For more information about Arthroscopic Surgery and to get a copy of this month’s Patient Newsletter featuring the condition, CLICK HERE.