In prior years, open ankle surgery was the only option to repair foot and ankle injuries or to conduct an ankle replacement surgery. Now, the experienced sports medicine team at our Arlington, Virginia ankle center has a minimally-invasive procedure to treat foot and ankle injuries. This surgery provides you with a shorter recovery period, is less painful, and has fewer complications compared to the old method. This procedure is known as ankle arthroscopy surgery.
Ankle Arthroscopy Surgery: A Look Inside your Foot and Ankle Treatment
The experienced orthopedic foot team at OrthoBethesda uses arthroscopy surgery to treat a lot of issues involving the foot and ankle joints of patients. This surgery is also known as keyhole surgery. Our team uses an arthroscope with a light and video camera attached to the end of it. The arthroscope is a flexible tube. It is inserted into the foot and ankle joint to inspect the impacted area and then used to treat the injured area.
The camera on the arthroscope projects images from inside the ankle joint onto a screen that the surgeon monitors. The surgeon will be able to see any damage present, helping him or her diagnose the severity of the injury and plan a course of action for the treatment of your conditions in Virginia.
What Conditions Can be Treated with Ankle Arthroscopy?
When a patient visits OrthoBethesda in Virginia complaining of problems with their foot/ankle area or looking for foot/ankle care, we often recommend starting with conservative treatment methods or therapy. These methods can include injections, medication, and physical therapy.
Following conservative treatment methods, if pain or mobility issues persist, our team will recommend arthroscopy surgery. This surgery method is used to help care for the following conditions in the ankle:
- Osteochondral defects of the talus
The benefit of using arthroscopy surgery is that previously undiagnosed ankle issues can be discovered and treated all at the same time during the procedure.
An Overview of the Ankle Arthroscopy Procedure
If you decide that arthroscopy is the right option for your conditions, our surgical team will ensure that you understand the procedure before scheduling an appointment. The procedure at our surgical center will take place as follows:
- The surgeon will access the ankle by making two to three small incisions around the joint
- One of the incisions is used to insert the arthroscope
- A sterile solution is pumped into the joint, which helps to expand the area for the surgeon
- The images displayed on the screen allow the surgeon to evaluate the damage and determine how much repair is needed
- Problems found are treated by small surgical tools inserted into the ankle using the incisions
- Once the surgeon has completed the repairs the incision will be closed and bandaged
Recovering from your Arthroscopy
The ankle will be immobilized using a splint or cast once the surgery is complete and you will be moved to a recovery room in our Arlington, Virginia ankle center. The amount of time you will need to wear the splint or be in the cast will depend on the extent of the surgery and the type of repair that was performed for your foot problems.
Always keep the treated area clean and free of dirt and debris to prevent infections from developing, which can bring a lot of pain to the patient. You will be prescribed medication to help manage any pain from the surgery. You should elevate the leg as much as possible and apply ice to help reduce swelling.
Ankle arthroscopy surgery has a low chance of patients developing complications. As with any type of surgery, there are risks associated with arthroscopy. These risks include the following:
- Damage to blood vessels or nerves
- Compartment syndrome
It is important that you have the best doctors treating injuries that can affect your quality of life and it’s even more important to have all of the information you need to make the right decision about your treatment options. If you are in the Arlington area, schedule an appointment with OrthoBethesda is the most trusted medical office to help walk you through your surgical options and your recovery.
Advantages of Arthroscopy
There is a myriad of advantages when choosing to undergo ankle arthroscopy in Arlington, Virginia, including the following:
- Small incisions versus a large incision
- Shorter hospitalization
- Less scarring
- Minimal trauma to soft tissue
- Less pain
- Faster recovery time
- Lower risk of infection
- Earlier mobilization
Call OrthoBethesda Today to Schedule a Consultation if you are in the Arlington, VA area
Patients at our Arlington center are always cared for properly when meeting with a member of our surgical team. Sports injuries are challenging to deal with no matter your age. Call our office at (301) 530-1010 to schedule an appointment regarding your injury or for more information about ankle replacement procedures.