What is it?
Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique whereby the ankle joint is visualised by means of a small camera and various surgical procedures are performed with micro instrumentation.
The benefits of a minimally invasive surgical technique are numerous with the most important being minimal soft tissue damage and as a result less post-operative surgical site infection and decreased recovery time.
It is important to note that not all procedures can be performed with this technique and a thorough examination and discussion with the patient will decide inclusion criteria.
Procedures that I can perform through this technique are:
General Recovery Facts
- You can expect mild to moderate pain for a few days.
- You are allowed to walk on the foot the one week after surgery.
- Many patients are however not able to walk on the foot because of pain.
- You may drive by about 14 days if it is your right foot, and 7 days if your left foot.
- A lot now depends on whether additional surgery is performed within the ankle.
- Often you will be placed in a below-knee cast for 4-8 weeks and converted to some form of splint.
- You may be able to get the foot wet once the cast is removed and the incision is healed.
- You will be able to wear a sneaker type shoe at about 4-6 weeks.
- The toes will remain puffy and swollen for 3-4 months.
Specific post-operative recovery
- Foot wrapped in back slab/below-knee cast and surgical Shoe.
- Ice, elevate, take pain medication.
- Expect numbness in foot 12-24 hours then pain.
- Blood drainage through bandage expected.
- Do not change bandage.
- Start heel walking in surgical shoe only.
- Moderate pain – continue pain medication.
- Ice, elevate as much as possible.
- Protect pin site from impact.
- May drive with caution in surgical shoe.
- Do not change dressing unless instructed.
- First follow-up in the office, X-rays possibly taken.
- Dressing changed.
- Dressing/cast changed as needed.
- Moon boot/brace applied in office.
- Full weight bearing without surgical shoe.
- Massage of the ankle and toes important for one month.
- Compression sock may be required.
- Physical therapy may be commenced.