An ankle arthroscopy is a procedure in which an arthroscope, a small video camera attached to a fiber optic tube, is inserted into the ankle. The procedure is performed under anesthesia on an outpatient basis. This system is used to evaluate and treat issues with the ankle joint and ligaments.
What is it?
When a patient is experiencing persistent ankle pain, an ankle arthroscopy will be performed in order for the surgeon to diagnose and treat the condition. Ankle injuries or overuse may result in conditions that require an arthroscopy to visualize the joint. An arthroscope is inserted into the ankle through a small incision, and the camera attached allows the surgeon to see the affected tissues.
What should I do to prepare?
Before an ankle arthroscopy, a patient should meet with his or her doctor and discuss current medications, allergies, and past medical history. Patients are instructed to stop eating or drinking before midnight the day before surgery and to stop taking blood-thinning medications and aspirin in advance of the procedure. Additionally, patients should make transportation accommodations following the procedure because the effects of anesthesia impair driving abilities.
What happens during the process?
General anesthesia, or the complete sedation using drugs, is typically used during this procedure as well as antibiotics to prevent infections. During the procedure, the patient is completely sedated and positioned so that the surgeon has a full view of the ankle. The surgeon will inject fluid into the ankle, which expands the joint and clarifies the arthroscope’s view of the joint. After the issue is diagnosed, the surgeon may continue to use the arthroscope and current incision site to introduce other surgical tools to repair the issue.
Risks and Complications
Ankle arthroscopy comes with associated risks that include but are not limited to:
- Excessive bleeding
- Blood clots
- Nerve damage
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