Minimally invasive ankle arthroscopy can be helpful to address a variety of problems inside the ankle joint. We use this very commonly when patients suffer from chronically unstable ankles where they repeatedly sprain their ankle and develop inflamed tissue within the ankle joint that we call synovitis. We can perform removal of the inflamed tissue minimally invasively, which often times helps with pain that develops from the repeated injury.
Another issue that arises within the ankle joint that we can help with ankle arthroscopy is anterior ankle impingement syndrome. This happens when a portion of the anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament hypertrophies and overgrows and pinches in the front of the ankle. People typically get pain with this when the ankle is being overly dorsiflexed, and we see this with patients sitting with the ankle in a dorsiflexed position for a long time, such as sitting on a long plane ride. We can clean out and remove this tissue minimally invasively with arthroscopy which can help alleviate the pain.
Osteochondral defects that develop typically on the talar dome after an ankle injury can also be addressed with ankle arthroscopy. If the cartilage damage is less than 1 cm in diameter, microfracture can be utilized arthroscopically which can help regrow fibrocartilage. The ankle joint has hyaline cartilage which does have more cushion than fibrocartilage, but when lesions are small enough, the literature shows that microfracture to develop fibrocartilage can still give patients good pain relief.
If an osteochondral defect is greater than 1 cm, we can arthroscopically replace the cartilage loss with different types of hyaline cartilage allografts. This is typically placed over the missing cartilage and then secured with fibrin glue to hold it in place and replace the missing cartilage in the ankle joint.
One other nice benefit of ankle arthroscopy is that we can take pictures of the joint throughout the surgery, so we are able to show patients after the surgery exactly what their ankle joint looks like, so they can see what is causing the problem they've been having.
If you are suffering from any ankle pain, our Colorado Springs foot and ankle surgeons are here to help you. Call us at 719-488-4664 today!