Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to address injuries or conditions to cartilage, bones or soft tissues that surround the ankle joint.

As with all types of arthroscopy or “scopes”, the procedure is performed through several very small incisions. A tiny camera is inserted in one of these incisions to allow the surgeon to view inside the joint while surgical instruments are inserted through the other incisions.

The surgeon is then able to remove loose bodies, trim or shave bone spurs, address cartilage injuries, or remove inflamed tissue that maybe the source of pain.

Ankle arthroscopy is typically an outpatient surgical procedure and can be performed in a hospital or outpatient surgical center. Patients usually receive a combination of general and regional anesthesia.



Ankle arthroscopy can be used to treat the following conditions:

  • Loose bodies in the joint
  • Cartilage injuries/osteochondral defects (OCDs)
  • Ankle impingement (bone spurs)
  • Synovitis or ankle joint inflammation
  • Ankle instability

Benefits of Ankle Arthroscopy:

  • Outpatient procedure
  • Smaller incisions
  • Earlier rehabilitation
  • Earlier return to activity

Complications are uncommon. Just like any arthroscopic procedure or surgery, there is always a very small risk of damage to surrounding structures such as nerves or vessels as well as the ankle joint itself. There is also a very small risk of infection as well as a risk of blood clots in the legs (DVT).

You exact postoperative protocol will be dependent on the specific procedure performed. Postoperatively you will be placed in a splint, cast or walker boot to allow the incisions to heal and you will likely require crutches for a short period of time. In most cases, you will be involved with physical therapy to regain ankle motion and strength.

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