Ankle Arthroscopy (Keyhole Surgery)

Ankle Arthroscopy is a keyhole procedure initially developed in 1939. The technique has developed a lot since then and is now used frequently to treat many ankle problems. The technique is performed as a day case procedure with you under a general anaesthetic (asleep) or under a spinal block. It involves two small incisions made over your ankle joint allowing insertion of a small camera into your ankle joint and various instruments required to perform the procedure.

Indications –

  • Ankle instability
  • Locking/popping
  • Loose body
  • Impingement
  • Synovitis
  • Cartilage damage combined treatments eg. Drilling or microfracture
  • Arthroscopic assisted fusions
  • Washout for infection
  • Other less frequent indications

This image from inside an ankle shows a loose body that was removed to treat locking and ankle instability.

These images show a bony spike that was hiding under scar tissue that was removed. Once the spike was cleared of scar tissue it was shaved flat to match the natural bone. This pathology is called "bony impingement" or "footballer's ankle".

In this patient a combination of micro-fracture and drilling was used to treat cartilage damage. You may see some texts refer to the cartilage damage as an Osteochondral defect (OCD).

Recovery – Following the arthroscopy, you will be in a bulky bandage and allowed to go home with crutches. Weight bearing is usually allowed, but rest and elevation are important to the recovery for the first two weeks. You should take 2-3 weeks off work.

Further Information: