Arthroscopic Ankle Surgery

Arthroscopic ankle surgery is used to diagnose and treat a number of ankle joint conditions.

With the arthroscopic approach, small incisions are made that allow the doctor to insert a high-powered fiber optic camera and surgical instruments into the ankle area. As the doctor watches a monitor linked to the camera, he or she can address the specific needs inside the ankle joint.

Arthroscopic surgery can treat conditions like acute ankle sprains and repetitive ankle injuries caused by chronic instability, vascular problems, genetic predisposition, degeneration, and metabolic abnormalities; anterior ankle impingement (also known as “athlete’s ankle” or “footballer’s ankle”); anterolateral ankle impingement; posterior ankle impingement; synovitis; loose bodies; arthrofibrosis; infection; ankle fractures; and unexplained ankle symptoms.

Advantages of ankle arthroscopy include minimal scarring, reduced pain and bleeding, and lower chance of infection than open surgery.

 

Who is eligible?

Tenet Florida Physician Services considers a patient’s overall health before recommending any surgery. Some patients with soft tissue infections, acute and chronic open wounds, and dermatitis near the surgery site may not be good candidates for surgery. Other limitations may be needed for patients with severe peripheral vascular disease, peripheral neuropathy, reflex sympathetic dystrophy/complex regional pain syndrome, edema, and severe arthritic changes with loss of the joint space.

What are the risks?

In addition to the regular risks of any surgery, there are some additional risks to arthroscopic ankle surgery. These include injury to nerves, vessels, tendons, ligaments or cartilage in the ankle; infections; scarring; and pain. Symptoms like intense pain not controlled with medication; nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills; redness, warmth and drainage at the site; and new numbness, weakness and tingling should be reported to your doctor.

What is recovery like?

Recovery depends on the exact type of procedure performed. In general, patients will need pain medication, elevation of the ankle, and periodic icing for a period after surgery. Weight-bearing activities like walking and driving will depend on your doctor’s instructions. After the swelling goes down, you may begin physical therapy or rehabilitation to strengthen the area and regain full range of motion.

How expensive is it?

Arthroscopic ankle surgery is usually covered by insurance, Medicaid and Medicare. If you and your Tenet Florida Physician Services doctor believe surgery is a good choice for you, the Tenet team will give you an estimate of what your out of pocket expenses may be.

How do I learn more?

Usually, arthroscopic ankle surgery candidates are referred by a general or family physician. If you would like to make an appointment to speak with a Tenet doctor about this procedure, call 1.866.654.2362.