Ankle and foot arthroscopy

Arthroscopy of the foot and ankle is used to examine and treat joint conditions. Using advanced instruments and surgical techniques, many conditions can be treated with arthroscopic surgery. Although each procedure varies, generally, arthroscopic surgeries involve the following:

  • Anesthetic is administered
  • A small incision is made in the patient's skin
  • The arthroscope is inserted through the incision
  • Other incisions may be made to introduce other small grasping, probing or cutting tools
  • Light is transmitted via fiber optics at the end of the arthroscope
  • Information about the interior of the joint is transmitted to a screen
  • Corrective surgery, if necessary, may be performed during the initial diagnostic procedure
  • Dressings or bandages may be applied to the post-operative area

The small puncture wounds created by the arthroscope and probing tool(s)may take several days to heal. Recovery time depends on the extent of the surgery and on the individual patient. However, most arthroscopic surgery is done on an outpatient basis, and patients are allowed to go home within hours after the surgery. Some patients resume daily activities and return to work or school within a few days. Athletes and other patients in good physical condition may return to athletic activities within a few weeks, under the care of their physician.

Conditions most frequently found with arthroscopy:
The following are the conditions most frequently discovered during an arthroscopic procedure:

  • Inflammation
  • Injuries
  • Pieces of loose bone and/or cartilage (particularly in the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, or wrist