Ankle Arthroscopy

This page will provide you with information about having an ankle arthroscopy. For further details, please speak to your consultant.

What is an ankle arthroscopy?

An arthroscopy is the medical term for keyhole surgery. This procedure enables your surgeon to see inside your ankle through a small incision using a camera. Using this method the surgeon is able to diagnose problems such as joint damage, ligament damage and arthritis.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Surgery confirms what the exact problem is and in many cases the surgeon is able to treat the problem at the same time.

What are the alternatives to surgery?

Sometimes it is possible to diagnose problems within the ankle using an MRI scan, however you would usually need an arthroscopy to treat the problem.

What will happen during the procedure?

Various anaesthetic techniques are possible and this procedure usually takes no more than three-quarters of an hour. A camera will be inserted through small incisions around your ankle. The surgeon is then able to remove any loose material caused by wear to the joint surfaces and remove any fragments of bone or swelling from the ankle joint lining.

Figure 1
Arthroscopy of the ankle

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You may require reconstructive surgery if your ankle ligaments are torn.

Risks and complications

Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your expert consultant.


Usually you will be discharged the same day as the procedure. The ankle may be slightly swollen for a week or two and walking may be uncomfortable. Regular, gentle exercise will aid in your recovery. However, seek advice from your GP or the healthcare team as to what exercises are best for you. The majority of people will make a good recovery and can soon return to normal everyday tasks.


An arthroscopy is a less intrusive form of surgery. It allows the surgeon to diagnose and treat common ankle related problems, without the need for a large cut to skin, reducing the amount of pain you feel and ensuring a quicker recovery.



EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Ankle Arthroscopy Consultants