Ankle Arthroscopy: Using video camera to diagnose your ankle condition

Ankle injuries are a commonly treated at our Palm Desert, CA office. There is a large amount of stress put on feet and ankles on a daily basis, especially if you are involved in activities that add extra pressure. An ankle can twist, sprain, break, stretch and tear from a simple slip off of a curb or a hard fall in a sports game. 

What is an Arthroscopic Procedure?

In simple terms, arthroscopy is a procedure that allows Dr. Danciger to diagnose and treat problems within the ankle joint. A small incision is made through which a tiny tube with a high-tech fiber-optic video camera is inserted. What is seen inside your ankle is then transmitted onto a video monitor. The arthroscopic camera can help diagnose the severity of an ankle condition or injury and then also serve as a tool to guide Dr. Danciger if he needs to do any repair.

The main advantage of this type of procedure is that it is minimally invasive. Dr. Danciger is able to get a very detailed look inside your ankle without having to make a large incision that would be much more painful and take longer to heal. This type of surgery highly decreases the risk of further complications. The minimally invasive nature allows for quicker healing and a quicker return to daily activities and exercise.

What Can I Expect During an Ankle Arthroscopy?

Depending on the reason for the surgery, you may have either local or general anesthesia. If it is just local, you are awake during the procedure but will only feel a slight amount of pressure as Dr. Danciger moves around your ankle joint. Usually two incisions are made. They are typically very small; around 7mm long and only require a stitch or two to be closed back up. They are placed strategically to avoid any blood vessels or nerves.

Depending on what needs to be accomplished during the arthroscopy and the severity of the condition, the procedure can last from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. It is done as an outpatient procedure, which will allow you to recover at home. After it is over, you may be given antibiotics to prevent against any infection and be asked to observe the RICE method of treatment: rest, ice, compression and elevation. If the procedure was a bit more invasive, you may be given crutches for extra comfort and protection while healing.

What Injuries or Conditions Can Be Helped by Ankle Arthroscopy?

The goal of an arthroscopic surgery is to decrease swelling and pain and improve and restore motion to your ankle. The reasons for an ankle arthroscopy are continuously changing but include the following:

  • Clean up debris in the ankle joint
  • Torn or damaged cartilage
  • Ankle pain
  • Bone spurs
  • Fractures
  • Arthritis
  • Loose bone fragments
  • Joint infections
  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Torn ligaments and tendons
  • Inflamed lining of joints
  • Scarring within joints

Advances in technology are making the cameras and instruments for arthroscopic procedures even better year after year. This increases your treatment options and success of the outcomes. Patients of all ages can also benefit from arthroscopic surgery. If you have any of the conditions listed above and would like to discuss whether an ankle arthroscopy would improve your foot health, contact our podiatric office today. You can call our office at (760) 568-0108 or make an appointment directly from our homepage

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle