Benefits Of Ankle Arthroscopy

Benefits Of Ankle Arthroscopy

For those grappling with persistent ankle pain and instability, the prospect of surgery can evoke both concern and hope. Luckily, medical advancements have birthed a minimally invasive technique: ankle arthroscopy. 

Learn more: 6 Common Types Of Ankle Surgery An Orthopaedic Doctor Performs

Using fibre optic cameras to diagnose and treat various ankle joint issues, ankle arthroscopy offers a myriad of benefits. Keep reading to find out more. 

Understanding Ankle Arthroscopy 

An ankle arthroscopy begins with the orthopaedic surgeon making small incisions around the ankle joint, typically measuring just a few millimetres long. These tiny incisions are entry points for the arthroscope and other specialised surgical instruments.

The arthroscope is a slender, flexible tube equipped with a high-definition camera at its tip. It captures real-time images of the inside of the ankle joint, providing the orthopaedic surgeon with a clear and zoomed view of the joint’s bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.

Using the visuals provided, the surgeon is able to accurately assess the extent of damage or abnormalities present in the ankle joint. Once the evaluation is complete, the surgeon proceeds with the necessary repairs or corrective procedures through the small incisions. 

Conditions Treatable with Ankle Arthroscopy 

Conditions Treatable With Ankle Arthroscopy-Ankle Ligament Tear

  • Ligament tears

An ankle ligament tear can cause severe pain and instability, hindering daily activities. During an ankle arthroscopy, a debridement where the damaged and frayed portions of the ligament are carefully trimmed and removed, or a repair to reattach the torn ligament to its proper position may be performed. 

  • Cartilage injuries

Damaged cartilage can lead to discomfort and reduced joint function. Fortunately, ankle arthroscopy facilitates the healing of cartilage injuries, promoting improved mobility and reduced pain. 

Learn more: Ankle Pain: Tips From A Foot & Ankle Specialist

The orthopaedic surgeon will use specialised instruments to stimulate blood flow to the injured area, encouraging the growth of new cartilage cells. In some cases, the surgeon may also introduce cartilage grafts. If the cartilage injury is more extensive, the surgeon may perform cartilage debridement. This involves carefully trimming and removing the damaged cartilage and any loose fragments from the joint. 

  • Removing loose bodies

Sometimes, bone chips or loose bodies can accumulate within the ankle joint, causing pain and limited range of motion. Through ankle arthroscopy, an orthopaedic surgeon can safely remove these obstructions, relieving discomfort and restoring joint function.

  • Tendon tears

Tendon injuries can significantly impact a patient’s ability to move freely. Ankle arthroscopy enables surgeons to address tendon tears, helping them to regain strength and mobility in their ankles.

The surgeon will carefully suture or reattach the torn tendon to its original position to restore the continuity and strength of the damaged tendon, promoting optimal healing. In other cases, removal of scar tissue may be needed to prevent impeding the tendon’s function and cause discomfort. 

The Advantages of Ankle Arthroscopy

The Advantages of Ankle Arthroscopy-Ankle Ligament Tear

1. Less pain, minimal scarring and lower risk of complications

One of the most significant advantages of ankle arthroscopy is the reduced postoperative discomfort. The procedure’s minimally invasive nature means smaller incisions, resulting in less pain and faster healing. 

The limited incisions also lead to minimal scarring and reduce the risk of postoperative complications

2. Outpatient procedure

Unlike traditional surgeries that might require extended hospital stays, ankle arthroscopy is typically performed on an outpatient basis. This means patients can return home on the same day of the procedure, saving them from unnecessary hospitalisation costs. 

3. Faster recovery time

Ankle arthroscopy’s minimally invasive approach translates to a quicker recovery period compared to traditional open surgeries. With less trauma to the surrounding tissues, patients can expect to resume their daily activities and get back on their feet faster, enabling them to reclaim their active lifestyle. 

4. Reduced swelling

The smaller incisions used in ankle arthroscopy lead to less tissue disruption, resulting in reduced swelling. With less swelling, the patient’s overall healing process is enhanced, maximising the benefits of the procedure.

If you are considering undergoing ankle arthroscopy, it is always advisable to visit an orthopaedic clinic in Singapore for an accurate diagnosis and to clarify any doubts you may have. 

Dr Kannan Kaliyaperumal at Specialist Orthopaedic Centre has experience and training with ankle arthroscopies. 

Reach out to us to find out more!