Performing surgery through a small tube? This would have been considered science fiction a century ago. Now, surgery through small scopes is commonplace. This includes endoscopy in gastroenterology, laparoscopy in general surgery, and arthroscopy in orthopedics.
The use of small scopes (arthroscopes) to operate on joints was first described nearly a century ago, but was not developed until the 1970’s. Since then, the equipment, techniques, and indications for arthroscopic surgery have advanced significantly.
The knee has been the joint most commonly treated arthroscopically, but other joints are now being treated very successfully. Arthroscopy of the ankle joint has become very popular. The technique is useful for a variety of conditions.
Arthroscopic surgery of the ankle as many advantages over traditional open surgery. It involves very small incisions, has faster healing, and earlier ambulation. It is easily accomplished on an outpatient basis.
Arthroscopy allows better visualization of structures within the ankle joint that are sometimes not prominent on imaging techniques such as MRI. Through the small scopes inserted, bone and cartilage fragments can be removed. Ankle impingement by bony or soft tissue structures can be repaired. Reconstructive procedures can be performed. Reducing the thickness of inflamed joint soft tissue ( synovectomy) is a particularly popular and effective arthroscopic procedure.
Not every surgeon who operates on the ankle is trained in and or adept at ankle arthroscopy. It should only be performed by those with the proper training and experience. The surgeons at Melbourne Podiatry Associates are well-trained, credentialed, and experienced in ankle arthroscopy. They can determine if the technique is appropriate for you, or if other treatment would be preferable.
If you have ankle pain, please call our office for an appointment.