If you are struggling with joint pain or injury in your foot or ankle, your podiatrist might recommend arthroscopy to look deeper into what’s going on and learn how it can be repaired so you can have the active, pain-free life you deserve.

What Is Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that doctors use to get a closer look inside your body to determine the cause of pain or injury. An arthroscope is a long, thin tube with a video camera and light on the end. During the procedure, this tool is inserted through small cuts to get a close-up look at bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. In some cases, the damage will be repaired in one procedure. Multiple issues can be assessed and treated during a single arthroscopy procedure.

When Does a Podiatrist Use Arthroscopy?

Although it is typically an outpatient procedure, arthroscopy is a type of surgery and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Always follow any guidelines the doctor gives you ahead of time. Failure to follow these instructions could lead to a postponement of surgery.

There are various foot and ankle conditions that can be assessed and repaired with arthroscopic surgery. These include:

  • Chronic ankle pain
  • Arthritis
  • Loose fragments of cartilage or bone
  • Ankle instability (the feeling of “giving way” when walking or standing)
  • Cartilage fractures
  • Problematic scar tissue

Some arthroscopic treatments include:

  • Diagnosis
  • Biopsy
  • Arthroplasty
  • Fusions
  • Excisions
  • Ligament repair
  • Removals
  • Fracture repair

Recovering From an Arthroscopic Procedure

Like any surgical procedure, recovery varies from person to person. Some will bounce back hours following the procedure, while others will need more time to feel back to normal. Following arthroscopy, you can expect to go home a few hours after the procedure is complete. During recovery, you should follow your doctor’s instructions, which may include:

  • Refrain from putting any weight or pressure on the region that was operated on. You might be given crutches or a wheelchair.
  • Ice and elevate the affected area as much as possible.
  • Keep your incisions clean and covered up. Protecting the region from infection is a good way to ensure you have the quickest recovery possible.
  • Take prescribed pain medications at least for the first day or two. If you miss those initial doses, it can be hard to get on top of the pain again if you start to feel significant distress from the surgery.
  • Avoid baths and hot tubs after surgery. Stick with showers, and ask your doctor for a timeline regarding when it’s safe to soak again.
  • Wear any brace or other healing apparatus given to you by the doctor.
  • Attend all follow-up appointments with your podiatrist, and carry out any recommended therapies or exercises.

Arthroscopy can be a helpful and relatively easy solution for those struggling with certain foot and ankle injuries. At InStride Carolina Podiatry Group, we care about helping you find the proper diagnosis and walking with you on your journey to recovery. Give us a call at our Charlotte office at 980-219-8626 or visit our website for a list of all locations, phone numbers, and also an online contact option.

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