What you should know
Ankle arthroscopy is a procedure to look inside your ankle joint. An arthroscope is a flexible tube with a light and camera on the end. An arthroscopy can be used to remove, repair, or rebuild part of your ankle.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may have an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. Nerves, blood vessels, or tissues in your ankle may be damaged during the procedure. Your ankle may become stiff, numb, or painful. You may not be able to move your ankle as well as you could before your procedure. Your symptoms may not go away. You may need to have open surgery on your ankle. If your ankle is not treated, your ankle pain and other symptoms may get worse. You may have trouble doing your usual activities.
The week before your procedure:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
- You may need blood tests before your procedure. You may also need x-rays or a CT scan of your ankle. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
The night before your procedure:
- You may be given medicine to help you sleep.
- Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your procedure:
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist may give you medicine to make you sleepy before your procedure. Tell him if you or anyone in your family has had a problem using anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
Your caregiver may inject dye into your ankle. This will help him see your ankle joint better during the procedure. Your caregiver will make an incision on your ankle to insert the arthroscope. More small incisions will be made on your ankle. Small tools will be inserted to remove or repair your ankle. Screws, stitches, or pins may be placed in your joint. A tool that burns tissue may be used to stop bleeding and remove ankle tissue. The incisions will be closed with stitches and wrapped with a bandage. You may need to wear a splint, brace, or cast after your procedure.
After your procedure:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you may be allowed to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken to your hospital room.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your procedure.
- You have a fever.
- You have an infection.
- You have questions or concerns about your procedure.
Seek Care Immediately if
- The problems for which you are having the arthroscopy get worse.
- You have severe pain or trouble moving around.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.