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  • Writer's picturePasadena Orthopedics, Inc.

Ankle Arthroscopy / Ankle Scope

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

Also called ankle arthroscopy, this is a less invasive way of doing surgery. Rather than openly cutting into the problem area, the surgeon uses small incisions to navigate the joint and fix the pain or other symptoms with a camera and microscopic instrumentation.


What is an Ankle Scope?

The surgeon uses two small incisions and a thin fiber-optic camera to view the problem area in the ankle joint on a screen during surgery as they repair it. This results in less healing time and faster return to activity.

Who should have an Ankle Scope?

An ankle scope is generally recommended if conservative treatments like rest, physical therapy, medications, injections or other treatments do not effectively treat a condition or injury. Ankle scopes are often used to treat the pain caused by sports injuries, scar tissue, inflammation, fractures, loose cartilage and more.

Does an Ankle Scope work?

Ankle scopes work very well when done for the right reasons. The small incisions greatly reduce the risks of pain or infection and allow for recovery and rehabilitation much sooner. According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society and the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, about 70- 90% of patients undergoing ankle arthroscopy for the most common problems achieve good to excellent results.

What can I expect when I have an Ankle Scope?

You will need a pre-surgical physical to make any necessary accommodations based on your health history. When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll speak to your surgeon and anesthesiologist. You are likely to put to sleep (general anesthesia) for this surgery.

Afterward, a physical therapist will help show you how best to get around, likely using crutches. You are very unlikely to be kept in the hospital overnight, and you will need to have someone drive you home. Crutches or a knee scooter may be necessary for most day-to-day tasks for a few weeks. Your physical therapist will help you progress.

Time off from work will be based on your mobility, but for office workers, 1-2 weeks is average.


Below is a sample video in animation of the procedure:


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