Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that precisely diagnoses and treats many causes of ankle pain. An arthroscope is a small camera, about half the width of a pen, that when inserted into the ankle permits a complete view of the cartilage and joint surfaces. Pain and the rehabilitation needs are minimized using this technique.
Pre-operative Ankle Care
The surgical center will inform you when to arrive and how to prepare for surgery. The day of surgery you will receive regional anesthesia known as a Popliteal nerve block. This is a procedure performed by the anesthesiologist prior to surgery. You will be given medication to induce “twilight sleep,” placed on your stomach, and a small needle will be used to inject Novocain-like medication around the nerve in the back of your leg. It gives complete pain relief that lasts for 12 to 36 hours. Patients report extraordinary satisfaction with this type of anesthesia.
Operative Care – Ankle Arthroscopy Surgery
During the ankle arthroscopy you will undergo heavy sedation. A tourniquet will be inflated around your calf. You will not feel the pressure because of the nerve block. Two small (less than ¼ inch incisions) are made on the front of the ankle. Occasionally a posterior incision is made as well. A small camera inserted into the ankle through the first portal permits a complete view of the ankle joint and a precise diagnosis. A variety of devices are inserted through the other portal to treat the problem. The wounds are closed with stitches. The leg is placed into a cast or a removable cast boot.
Immediate Post-Operative Ankle Care
Once your anesthesiologist is satisfied that have recovered you will be permitted to leave the surgical center. During this recovery time your family member may take your prescription to the nearest pharmacy. You will be given crutches. Take your narcotic pain control medications before falling asleep or as you feel the “numbing” effect wearing off. Remember, post operative pain is much easier to control with prevention. Call to schedule your first post-operative visit for 7-10 days after surgery when you are able.
To schedule surgery, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-224-8500 at least four weeks in advance to best ensure your desired surgery date. If you have questions after surgery, please contact our office.
Post-Operative Course – Ankle Arthroscopy
This timeline is a general guideline. Your post-operative course may vary.
|Elevation||23 hours / day for 3 days; then keep elevated as needed. Swelling may last over 4 months.|
|Motion||Move your ankle and lesser toes when the block resolves. This will decrease pain and swelling, and improve healing.|
|Walking||Depends on the procedure but, generally full weight bearing is permitted.|
|Bathing||After 3 days you may shower but do not let the skin by the incision become macerated.|
|Pain Control||Expect to use strong narcotics for the first 3-5 days. Wean off as soon as you are comfortable using Tylenol.|
|Work||Return depends on specific demands. It is safe to return to sedentary work at 5 days post-op. Return to heavy labor may take 4 weeks or more depending on other simultaneously performed procedures.|
|Driving||Patients with left foot surgery may drive an automatic transmission. Patients with right foot surgery must wait until healing is adequate and they feel safe.|
Routine Clinic Visits
|2 weeks||Confirm incision is healed, begin physical therapy if instructed.|
|4 weeks||Gradually resume normal activity.|
|3 – 4 months||Return if you have pain, other concerns, or per Dr. Silverman’s instructions. Minimal feelings of discomfort may linger, your overall comfort level improves over a year.|
|**********||If at any time during your post-operative period you notice any drainage or foul odor from your incision, a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees and/or increased swelling or tenderness, you should contact our office.|
Visit our video center to watch rehab exercise videos that will help you recover after your surgery.