Arthroscopy involves looking at the inside of the ankle joint with a small telescope and camera (arthroscope). The image is projected onto a television monitor via a fibre optic cable. This allows the surgeon to fully inspect and repair any problems.
Arthroscopy is a generally safe procedure and is performed as a day surgery under
anaesthetic. It allows for a quicker return to work and sporting activities. There are less risks and discomfort.
Common problems that can be treated are:
- Synovitis (inflammation of the joint lining)
- Damaged joint surfaces
- Loose fragments of bone or cartilage
- Bone spurs / impingement
The results from arthroscopic surgery depend on the what is found and “fixed” during the procedure. Most patients return to work within two weeks of their surgery and return to sports about 6 weeks.
Complications from arthroscopy are uncommon but may include:
- Excessive swelling of the ankle
- Bleeding within the ankle
- Damage to blood vessels or nerves
Instructions for AFTER the surgery
- It is essential for someone to accompany you home and preferably stay with you for 24 hours.
- You may put full weight through your leg when walking.
- Use crutches for comfort, stability/balance.
- Try not to limp.
- Stop using crutches when able to walk comfortably WITHOUT a limp.
- All wounds are closed with steri-strips (NO stitches) AND covered with a WATERPROOF dressing.
- Leave bulk dressing undisturbed for 48 hours.
- Remove bulky dressing after 48 hours and replace with elastic bandage (Tubigrip) supplied.
- Wear elastic bandage at all times except for daily shower. (No soaking, baths OR swimming yet).
- Swelling. This is to be expected. Elevate operated ankle as much as possible for first 3-5 days
- Pain You will receive a prescription for pain medication on discharge. Pain relief medication works best if taken REGULARLY
- Possible temporary numbness and/or tingling around the foot and toes.
- Move you ankle AS MUCH AS POSSBILE. You will not cause any harm/damage to your ankle by moving it
- Excessive persistent pain
- Pus discharge from wound
- Excessive pain AND tenderness AND swelling in the calf.
Should any of these symptoms persist contact Dr Sim’s rooms or after hours emergency.