What Is Recovery Like After an Ankle Arthroscopy Treatment?

An ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat injuries, disorders, and other conditions that affect the ankle. Is an ankle arthroscopy right for you? In this article, we will explore the treatment process, recovery, and long-term impact of this procedure. Best Foot Doctor NY is the leading podiatrist clinic in Manhattan, NYC offering the ankle arthroscopy procedure!

Common Conditions Treated with an Ankle Arthroscopy 

An ankle arthroscopy can be used to treat a number of notable conditions on the ankle. The most common include: 

  • Repairing ankle ligament tears
  • Removing bone spurs and adhesions (scar tissues) that may limit movement and cause pain
  • Removal of loose bone fragments and cartilage 
  • Treating tendonitis arthritis 
  • General evaluation of ankle problems and confirmation of diagnosis 
  • Anterior ankle impingement also known as athlete’s ankle (inflammation of the bone or soft tissue at the front of the ankle joint)

…and more. While icing, physical therapy, and over-the-counter pain medication can help several ankle problems, an ankle arthroscopy procedure can be used to evaluate futher and treat the condition when all else fails. 

How Does the Ankle Arthroscopy Work? 

During ankle arthroscopy, an arthroscope, a pencil-thin fiberoptic scope with a lens and a camera, is used to examine the interior of the ankle. The surgeon can examine and/or repair the tissues in or around the ankle using specialized surgical tools.

With the arthroscope, the doctor can detect problems and correct tissue using very small incisions. This is a complete contrast compared to other open surgical procedures that require larger cuts to the skin and tissue. 

This procedure is completed on an outpatient basis, using general or regional anesthesia to numb the area so patients do not feel pain. To insert the arthroscope, the surgeon makes an incision less than half an inch big.  

Ankle Arthroscopy Recovery 

An ankle arthroscopy recovery time can vary. The same day of the procedure, your incisions are closed and bandaged, and you are on your way home. The surgeon will advise you to follow the RICE regimen (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). 

Because the incisions are smaller, they will usually heal within a few days. This means you  can go back to your regular activities in no time. Sometimes, physical therapy may be needed, but it can depend on every case.  

How Long Until You Can Walk After an Ankle Arthroscopy?

After an ankle arthroscopy procedure, the time it takes for patients to walk can depend on the severity of the procedure. The arthroscope can also be used for major reconstructive surgery, which can have a more extended recovery period. 

If an ankle has to be repaired, it may take several weeks for you to walk regularly. If major reconstructive surgery occurred, then it could be months. However, it is important to talk to your podiatrist to understand when you will have a larger range of motion again after surgery. 

Long-Term Impact

Crutches or a splint may be vital after ankle arthroscopy. Physical therapy may involve doing a few exercises at home or seeing a physical therapist. Recovery time can take anywhere from a few days to a few months; however, it is generally a much shorter time than other procedures. 

In terms of the long-term impact, many patients are happy to know that the treatment involves much less scarring, less time in a hospital, and better results than other procedures. After a few months, people can go back to their regular routines, including sports, work, school, etc., with no delay. 

An ankle arthroscopy can help diagnose and treat various ankle conditions, leaving patients recovered and ready to return to their lives within a few months. 

Best Foot Doctor NY is One of the Best Foot and Ankle Surgeons in New York 

An ankle arthroscopy can be recommended due to its minimal invasiveness, less scarring, and faster recovery than other open surgeries. If you want to learn more about treatment and recovery time, sit down with an expert podiatrist. At Best Foot Doctor NY, you will find one of the best foot and ankle surgeons in Manhattan, NYC. Dr. Emmanuel Fuzaylov and his team are ready to help all patients dealing with a number of foot and ankle conditions. Contact us now to book your appointment!

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