Ankle pain either follows trauma or a generalised arthritis. Ankle pain is common following trauma and if still present 3 months after the injury there is normally a treatable cause for it. Common causes include soft tissue inflammation of the ankle joint capsule, damage to the ankle bone cartilage and disruption of the ligaments or tendons. A thorough examination and X-rays are usually sufficient to diagnose most ankle problems and MRI and CT scan sometimes useful in addition.
Physiotherapy to improve the range of motion, strength and muscle balance is usually requested. Ongoing pain may require steroid injections or surgery.
Problems within the ankle can be dealt with by key-hole technique termed ‘arthroscopy’. Using 2 small incisions, a micro camera is inserted along with instruments to remove or repair the damage.
Benefits of surgery
The ability to diagnose damage is excellent using arthroscopy and photographs can be taken to show you the damage and repair for yourself.
Risks of surgery
The risks are minimal. Infections and blood clots are very rare.
Ankle arthroscopy has a quick recovery with immediate weight bearing possible following most surgeries. Depending on the precise treatment performed, benefit is normally appreciated by 6 weeks with full recovery by 3-4 months.
Views of the ankle joint seen ar anterior arthroscopy
MRIs and arthroscopy findings of cartilage damage within ankle joint from posterior arthroscopy