To carry out an ankle arthroscopy, the surgeon makes two tiny incisions (cuts), one for the arthroscope and a second for the surgical instrument itself.
Arthroscopy is usually performed as a day case procedure under a general anaesthetic, along with an injection in the ankle which numbs it to reduce pain after surgery.
Immediately after surgery:
During the first few weeks:
Everyone is different, so healing and post-operative programmes vary from person to person. However, the schedule of follow-up appointments below is typical:
This will depend on the type of procedure you’ve had. Below is a guide to weight-bearing after surgery, but everyone is different and you should always contact the Fortius Clinic if you are worried.
In the first two weeks it’s important to keep the bandaging/foot totally dry although you will be able to shower with a waterproof cover over the leg. After two weeks you can shower as normal if the wounds have healed, but gently dab them dry.
Remove the bandage after five days and replace it with an elastic compression bandage (tubigrip) but keep the small sticky dressings on the wound. Once the bandage is removed, don’t pull at scabs but let them fall away naturally. If your wound becomes red, swollen or sore you should contact the Fortius Clinic and arrange to see your consultant to check you don’t have an infection.
Your specialist will refer you to a physiotherapist who can guide you through the stages of rehabilitation including gait re-education (walking correctly again), ankle mobilisation exercises, and reducing swelling and muscle tightness.
The DVLA states that it’s the responsibility of the driver to ensure they are always in control of the vehicle. A good guide is if you can stamp down hard with the foot to stop the car during an emergency stop. It may take at least two weeks to be able to do this, and if you have had an osteochondral defect or joint surface debridement, it can take at least six weeks or longer.
Although your specialist will advise you about when it’s safe to start driving again, it remains your responsibility to drive safely and you should also check with your vehicle insurer to confirm you are covered.
This depends on the type of work you do and how quickly you recover. As a general guide, if your job involves sitting down for most of the time, you should be able to return to work after two weeks; if it involves manual work, you may need to have up to six weeks off.
The outcome will depend on the type of condition and the exact procedure you have had. Most people are able to return to full activity and sports within three to six months, although your ankle may remain swollen for at least six months.
Below is a guide to the risks of this type of surgery. However, your surgeon will discuss these with you before your procedure, and answer any questions you may have:
Important: This information is only a guideline to help you understand your treatment and what to expect. Everyone is different and your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other people’s. Please contact us for advice if you’re worried about any aspect of your health or recovery