If you have an ankle problem and wish to make an appointment in Clinic of Mark Herron in either Birmingham or London please call the relevant telephone number above and ask to be booked into relevant Clinic. To find out more about the author of this patient information website and the lead clinician at the Foot and Ankle Clinic please select the following phrase Mark Herron
If you wish to view the full surgical technique please select the link below:
Foot Surgery Atlas Ankle Arthroscopy
What is an ankle arthroscopy?
Also known as key hole surgery or minimally invasive ankle surgery. Ankle arthroscopy involves using very small incisions to gain access into the ankle joint. Each incision is less than 1cm and usually two incisions are required. The ankle joint is relatively small and to allow good surgical access to the joint, its dimensions need temporarily to be increased. This is done using a combination of distraction across the joint together with having a stream of pressurized fluid circulating through the joint which distends it.
Not all ankle surgery can be done or is sensible to try using arthroscopy. The list of conditions below is comprehensive for those disorders in which the technique is useful. The alternative is open ankle surgery which results in larger scars and generally more post-operative pain. For certain cases though this is unavoidable.
The inside of the ankle joint can be inspected using a small camera with operations carried out on the joint using small, specially designed instruments.
The various disorders in which the technique is useful :
- Ankle arthritis
- Footballers ankle (Anterior Ankle Impingement)
- Unstable ankle
- Lateral ligament reconstruction
- Ankle pain following fracture
- Loose bodies within the ankle
- Osteochondral defects of the talus
- Diseases of the synovium
- Undiagnosed ankle pain
Smith and Nephew ankle arthroscope and light weight joint shaver handpiece.
Smith and Nephew small joint instruments for arthroscopic surgery
Why ankle arthroscopy?
The alternative to ankle arthroscopy is open ankle surgery. The very small incisions used result in minimal soft tissue disruption and trauma. This in turn results in:
- Significantly lower pain levels than an open approach
- The ankle is comfortable to weight bear through on the day of surgery
- Most cases can be performed on a day case basis
- Lower infection rates than opting for the open surgical approach
- Earlier return to work/function/sports
- Little scarring
- Minimal effect if further surgery to the ankle is required