Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat injuries and abnormalities within the joints. This procedure is commonly used to confirm a diagnosis made by physical examination and imaging techniques. It can also be used to treat conditions within the joints, providing they are not too complicated.
Although most commonly performed in the knee and hip, arthroscopy can also be beneficial in diagnosing and treating conditions of the ankle joint, including:
- tissue bands
- ligament tears
- articular cartilage damage
- bone spurs
Ankle arthroscopy is performed on an outpatient basis and uses tiny incisions to access the ankle joint. During this procedure, a camera tube called an arthroscope is inserted into one of the incisions and small surgical instruments into the others. The arthroscope allows the surgeon to visually examine the ankle joint and guide the instruments to the area for treatment. The surgical instruments will be inserted if needed to remove or repair tissue within the ankle joint.
Arthroscopy offers many benefits over a traditional open surgery because of its minimally invasive nature, including:
- shorter recovery times
- less scarring
- less bleeding
- smaller incisions
- no cutting of muscles or tendons
- less pain and discomfort