Ankle arthroscopy

Keyhole surgery of the ankle joint

Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive operation to evaluate and treat pain, swelling and stiffness in your ankle

What is an ankle arthroscopy?

Ankle arthroscopy is a keyhole procedure that allows your consultant to see inside your joints using a small surgical camera (arthroscope) inserted through tiny cuts in your ankle. Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat a range of joint problems — from ligament damage to arthritis — without open surgery.

Need to know

  • What happens during an ankle arthroscopy? icon plus

    Arthroscopy is usually done under general anaesthetic. Sometimes it can be done using local or regional anaesthetic, which numbs the area being operated on.

    Your consultant will make make tiny incisions on either side of your ankle to insert the arthroscope. A sterile solution will then be used to wash out your joint so that they can see inside it more clearly.

    If they identify a problem, specialised surgical instruments can be used alongside the arthroscope to repair it. This might include removing bone spurs or reconstructing torn ligaments. The whole procedure in the operating theatre usually takes 30 to 45 minutes.
  • How to prepare for an ankle arthroscopy icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. If you'll be having general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long you should avoid eating and drinking beforehand.

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you. Before surgery, your consultant may recommend a CT or MRI scan to help identify any problems with your ankle joint.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    After the procedure, your consultant will remove the arthroscope and use stitches or adhesive strips to close the small cuts. You should be able to go home the same day, but occasionally you may need to be cared for in hospital overnight.

    The leg that's been operated on needs to be elevated for 24 to 48 hours after surgery. It's not uncommon for your ankle to be swollen and tender for a few days. Ice and physiotherapy exercises can help.

    Your consultant will let you know what to expect and how to care for your ankle while it heals. They'll also let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including work or exercise.

Our foot and ankle consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts specialising in the foot and ankle, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.
Differences between Ankle Fusion and Ankle Replacement

Our locations

From complex foot surgery to straightforward ankle procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request a foot and ankle appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced foot and ankle consultants. We can also make imaging and outpatient physiotherapy appointments for you.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
back to top