Ankle Arthroscopy

Southeast Wisconsin’s Arthroscopic Ankle Surgery Experts

Arthroscopic ankle surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat conditions that affect the ankle joints. While each arthroscopic ankle surgery varies, the procedure generally involves creating a few small incisions, of approximately one centimeter in width, to access the ankle joint. An arthroscope, a small tube with a camera and light for viewing is inserted into one of the incisions, and small instruments to perform the operation are inserted through the other incisions.

If you’re considering arthroscopic surgery, it’s a good idea to speak with an orthopedic surgeon for an expert opinion. At one of our conveniently located affiliated physician offices in Milwaukee or Southeast Wisconsin, an ankle specialist can answer all of your questions and discuss next steps.

Benefits of an Ankle Arthroscopy Procedure

Ankle arthroscopic surgeries have become more common as the indications for such surgery have increased. Compared to traditional open surgical procedures, arthroscopic surgery is much less invasive, using smaller incisions and resulting in minimal soft tissue disruption and trauma. Arthroscopic surgical procedures of the ankle are generally associated with:

  • Faster healing
  • Significantly lower pain levels
  • Lower infection rates
  • Earlier return to sports and activities of daily living
  • Little scarring

When is an Ankle Arthroscopy Procedure Used? 

Arthroscopic ankle surgery may not be a suitable treatment for all ankle conditions. In some cases, open ankle surgery is the best or only alternative to treat problems in the ankle. Ankle arthroscopy is typically useful in treating:

  • Inflammation in the ankle
  • Cartilage damage, such as tears, injury or wear
  • Tendon damage
  • Loose bone or cartilage
  • Undiagnosed ankle pain

Recovery from Ankle Arthroscopy Surgery

The wounds created by the incisions during surgery generally take several days to heal following ankle arthroscopic surgery. Ankle arthroscopy recovery time is dependent on the extent of the surgery and the individual patient. Surgery is done on an outpatient basis; meaning patients are able to leave the hospital several hours following the surgery.

Patients typically return to normal daily activity within a few days, and are back to more strenuous activities and sports within a few weeks after the procedure is performed.

Possible Complications from Ankle Arthroscopy Surgery

While complications from ankle arthroscopy are rare, the procedure does pose a few risks to be aware of. The largest risk is injuring other tissues and structures near the ankle joint. Since the area is rich in nerves, it is possible that the nerves could be affected during the procedure. Infection is also a risk of ankle arthroscopic surgery. Lastly, once the patient heals, it is possible that pain is not entirely relieved.