The Foot & Ankle Center
at Modern Orthopedics of New Jersey
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72 Route 17 North
Paramus, NJ 07652
2025 Hamburg Turnpike
STE C, Wayne, NJ 07470
#207, Parsippany, NJ 07054
Ankle arthroscopy is a common, minimally invasive, low risk surgery that is used to treat a variety of different ankle issues. If nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy and steroid injections haven’t resolved your ankle pain or mobility issues, it may be time to consider an ankle arthroscopy.
What Does Ankle Arthroscopy Involve?
An ankle arthroscopy involves the insertion of an arthroscope (a specialized tool with a light and camera) into your ankle joint through small incisions in the skin. It allows your surgeon to gain clear insight into the cause of your pain and repair damage without opening your ankle joint.
Depending on what your surgeon finds, additional surgical tools may be inserted through other small incisions during the arthroscopy to further assist. Debridement (which is essentially the clean-up of your ankle joint) may involve removing damaged tissue and/or reshaping the cartilaginous surface to treat impingement.
Anatomy of the Ankle Joint
The ankle joint is a hinge type joint that allows for full flexion and mobility of the foot. It is formed by the joining of three bones: The tibia and fibula (lower leg bones) and the talus (foot bone). Holding the ankle joint together are two main sets of ligaments—the medial and lateral ligaments. It is one of the most complex joints in the body as it converts our entire body’s weight onto our feet.
Common Symptoms of Ankle Joint Issues
Many symptoms can indicate underlying ankle joint issues that may be treatable with ankle arthroscopy. These include:
- Ankle pain (especially when weight bearing)
- Tenderness to touch
- Swelling (chronic or acute)
- Restricted range of motion and/or stiffness
- Bruising/cartilage injury
- Infected ankle joint (septic joint)
- Ankle gout
Diagnostic Tests for Ankle Joint Conditions
Because ankle arthroscopy can be used to treat a wide variety of ankle joint issues, the tests used to diagnose specific conditions may vary. In general, your orthopedic surgeon will take your medical history and perform a thorough physical examination before ordering tests that may include X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI.
Ankle arthroscopy in itself is a diagnostic procedure that allows your surgeon to clearly see (and repair) damages that have occurred in the joint. It is also a procedure that is often performed in conjunction with ankle fracture repair to ensure the health of the ankle joint prior to repairing the fracture.
Consultation With a New Jersey-Based Ankle Specialist
If you have ankle pain, weakness, or range of motion issues that are impacting your quality of life, book an appointment at Modern Orthopaedics of New Jersey. One of our award-winning surgeons will help you to determine if an ankle arthroscopy may be suited for your lower extremity needs.
Treatment Options for Ankle Joint Conditions
Ankle injuries and issues are quite common and can often be resolved non-surgically with dedicated rest, physical therapy, and possibly steroid injections. Ongoing ankle issues, however, can often benefit from surgical treatment.
An ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that is performed via the insertion of specialized surgical tools through small incisions around the ankle joint. It can clean up damaged tissue, treat impingement, and leave the joint ready for optimal movement.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Ankle Arthroscopy Treat?
The conditions that can be treated with ankle arthroscopy include instability, impingement, torn ligaments, the buildup of scar tissue, and more. During surgery, painful pieces of damaged cartilage and/or or bone may be removed and even restored with new surgical techniques. Talk to your specialist at Modern Orthopaedics to see if it’s the right procedure for you.
What Is the Recovery Time for Ankle Arthroscopy?
Depending on the extent of your ankle arthroscopy, your recovery may last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Your surgeon will advise you on the guidelines for optimal recovery.
What Happens Before Ankle Arthroscopy?
Before having an ankle arthroscopy performed, it’s essential to avoid eating, drinking and smoking to ensure safety and the best outcome. Be sure to tell your surgeon about any blood thinners you may be taking and follow their pre-operative instructions carefully.
What Are the Risks or Complications of Ankle Arthroscopy?
Ankle arthroscopy is generally a very safe procedure with complications being relatively rare. But as with any surgery, risks may include (but not limited to) allergic reactions, nerve damage, bleeding, infections, and the development of blood clots.
Dr. Einul Chowdhury, DPM, AACFAS
FOOT & ANKLE SURGEON
Meet Dr. Chowdhury
Dr. Einul Chowdhury is a Board Qualified Foot & Ankle Surgeon that specializes in: lower extremity trauma, sports medicine, minimally invasive surgery, & limb deformity correction. Learn more about specialties, training and treatment philosophy by visiting Dr. Ein's full profile page.
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