Ankle arthroscopy

At Parkside Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Centre, we have a team of specialist orthopaedic consultants and foot and ankle surgeons. They can perform a minimally invasive procedure called an ankle arthroscopy to diagnose and treat problems with the ankle joint.

What is an ankle arthroscopy?

An arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery. If you have pain or other symptoms in the ankle, your surgeon inserts a thin metal tube called an arthroscope into the ankle joint. This tube has a light and camera at one end. Your surgeon can see inside the joint and diagnose any damage or underlying conditions, such as arthritis.

It may be possible to treat the problem in your ankle joint at the same time using tiny surgical instruments. Our surgeons can carry out various procedures to improve your symptoms.

Why might I need an ankle arthroscopy?

You may need an ankle arthroscopy if an injury has not healed or you have persistent pain, swelling or stiffness. Together with an MRI scan, an ankle arthroscopy can give your surgeon a detailed picture of the structure inside your ankle joint. This allows your surgeon to make an accurate diagnosis and often treat the problem during the same procedure.

An ankle arthroscopy can be used to:

• assess the joint damage caused by an injury or a condition like arthritis
• repair damaged tissue or cartilage (tissue that covers the surface of joints)
• remove loose material, such as small fragments of bone or cartilage
• drain away any excess fluid
• treat a range of joint conditions, including arthritis
• take small samples of tissue for testing (this is called a biopsy and can help to diagnose infections or other issues)

Are there any alternatives to an ankle arthroscopy?

You have a detailed appointment with a specialist orthopaedic consultant to discuss your foot and ankle problem. At this appointment, your consultant assesses your symptoms and prepares an individual treatment plan.

Your surgeon explains why an ankle arthroscopy is recommended and whether there are any alternatives. Non-surgical options may include taking painkillers or having a steroid injection.

What are the benefits of having an ankle arthroscopy?

An ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure. The surgeon can examine your ankle joint and carry out precise repairs through small cuts in your skin. This modern procedure has several advantages over traditional ‘open’ surgery. The main benefits are:

• less pain, stiffness and scarring after your operation
• a faster recovery time
• a lower risk of infection or other complications

How can I prepare for having an ankle arthroscopy?

Before you have an ankle arthroscopy, we ask you to attend a pre-operative assessment clinic. A nurse assesses your general health and decides whether you are fit to have an anaesthetic.

We give you clear information about how to prepare for the procedure. For example, we explain whether you can eat and drink or take your usual medicines in advance. We also discuss the benefits and risks of having an ankle arthroscopy. This is a low-risk procedure, but you can raise any concerns and ask us questions.

What happens during an ankle arthroscopy procedure?

An ankle arthroscopy is a day surgery procedure and you do not usually need to stay in hospital overnight. At Parkside Private Hospital, we have a £2.7 million refurbished Day Unit. There are 12 private pods specially designed for patients having day surgery. We also have four modern operating theatres.

You normally have a general anaesthetic. This means that you are asleep during the procedure and do not feel any pain. The procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes. While you are asleep and your muscles are relaxed, your surgeon makes small cuts in the skin over your ankle. They can then insert the long, thin tube with a light and camera called an arthroscope and other fine surgical instruments.

Your surgeon fills the ankle joint with a sterile liquid to make it bigger and easier to examine. The camera sends pictures of the inside of your ankle joint to a computer screen. Your surgeon can then diagnose the problem and carry out any treatment, such as removing or repairing damaged tissue or bone.

After the procedure, your surgeon drains any excess fluid and cleans the ankle joint. They then close the small cuts with special tape or stitches and put a bandage on your ankle.

What happens after an ankle arthroscopy procedure?

After having an ankle arthroscopy, you recover in our modern and comfortable Day Unit. Our expert team look after you and give you any pain relief that you need. When you have recovered from the anaesthetic, you can normally get up and walk on the foot that has been treated. You may need to use temporary crutches to support and protect the ankle joint. A physiotherapist teaches you how to use them. They also give you advice on keeping your foot raised as much as possible and doing regular, gentle exercises.

You can usually go home on the same day. Before you leave the hospital, we give you practical guidance on looking after your ankle. It is important to keep your wounds clean and dry until they have healed. Our pharmacy gives you any painkillers or other medicines that your consultant has prescribed.

How long it takes to recover from an ankle arthroscopy depends on the specific treatment that you had. We explain when it is safe to return to work or other activities. You may initially get some mild swelling in the ankle, but most people recover quickly and have a good outcome. We arrange a follow-up appointment with your consultant to monitor your progress. Our nurses are available 24 hours a day to deal with any concerns or questions.

Book now

If you have ankle pain and need an arthroscopy, Parkside Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Centre provides first-class independent healthcare.

We offer an all-inclusive price package for an ankle arthroscopy starting from £3,335. Terms and conditions apply. For more information about prices, please call 020 3925 1062.

To make an appointment at Parkside Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Centre, please call 020 3944 0568 or complete this form online. Appointments are available six days a week.

Ankle arthroscopy Consultants