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What is ankle arthroscopy?

Ankle arthroscopy is minimally invasive surgery that diagnoses or treats many ankle problems. Common problems include infections, injuries, arthritis, inflammatory conditions, and unexplained ankle symptoms. Ankle arthroscopy uses an arthroscope with a tiny camera to view the inside of the ankle joint. Special instruments allow your doctor to treat joint problems through small incisions. Ankle arthroscopy can relieve symptom and restore range of motion.

Ankle arthroscopy is a common surgery, but it involves some risk and potential complications. You may have less invasive treatment options. Consider getting a second opinion about all of your treatment choices before having ankle arthroscopy. 

Other surgical procedures that may be performed

Your doctor may also perform a biopsy. A biopsy involves removing a cell or tissue sample and testing it for cancer and other diseases. 

You may need open surgery (ankle arthrotomy) for an ankle condition that your doctor cannot treat with arthroscopy. Open surgery involves making a longer incision that allows your doctor to directly view and treat the ankle.

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Sep 20, 2016

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Medical References

  1. Ankle Arthroscopy. American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.
  2. Ankle Arthroscopy. Arthroscopy Association of North America.
  3. Arthroscopy. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
  4. DeHeer P, Groh C. Pertinent insights on ankle arthroscopy. Podiatry Today. 2013;26(1):48-54.
  5. Skinner HB, McMahon PJ. Current Diagnosis & Treatment on Orthopedics, 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014.

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