Ankle pain from many reasons such as a sprain or arthritis can resolve with ankle arthroscopy. Arthroscopic surgery accesses the ankle joint through ¼ inch incisions. Arthroscopic knee surgery was pioneered in Japan by Dr. Watanabe and brought to North America by Dr. Robert Jackson. Knee arthroscopy utilizes scopes 4.0 mm in diameter. With small joint arthroscopes (2.7 mm in diameter) and distraction applied to the ankle, arthroscopy revolutionized the treatment of ankle pain and disability. Just as arthroscopic knee surgery recovery speeded patient’s return to their active lives, ankle arthroscopy similarily impacted lives. Arthroscopic surgery allows the surgeon a complete view of the ankle joint that leads to better diagnosis and better treatment often with the arthroscope.
Many new conditions have been recognized and treated since the advent of ankle arthroscopy. Tissue bands, ligament tears, damage to the articular cartilage, bone spurs, tendonitis, and arthritis all can be relieved with this minimally invasive technique. Because of the small incisions and the ability to reach small recesses of the ankle, arthroscopic ankle surgery recovery is quicker, less painful, returning patients to activities or work faster than traditional surgery through a larger incision.
Experts from medicine, public health, and the sports have named arthroscopic surgery one of the most significant medical advances of the 20th century. As with shoulder arthroscopy, elbow arthroscopy, hip arthroscopy, and knee arthroscopy, specialists devote their entire career to the advancement of ankle arthroscopy.
The Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) and its publication The Journal of Arthroscopy and Arthroscopic Related Research are devoted to the advancement of Arthroscopy. Specialists who advance the art and science of ankle arthroscopy can be identified on this site.
Figure 1. An arthroscopic view of the ankle showing the talar dome with a normal articular surface. This is a common location for bone and cartilage injuries.
Figure 2. An arthroscopic view of the ankle showing a grasper (metal instrument) removing a loose piece of bone and cartilage.