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Ankle Arthroscopy


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.


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Anesthesia: This is medicine to make you comfortable during the procedure. Healthcare providers work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
    • General anesthesia: Healthcare providers use this medicine to keep you asleep and free from pain during the procedure. They give you anesthesia through your IV or as a gas. You may breathe in the gas through a mask or through a breathing tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
    • Regional anesthesia: Medicine is injected to numb the body area where the procedure will be done. You will remain awake during the procedure.

During your procedure:

Your healthcare provider may inject dye into your ankle. This will help him see your ankle joint better during the procedure. Your healthcare provider 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. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider 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.

  • Activity: Ask your healthcare provider what activity you can do. Do not get out of bed on your own until your healthcare provider says you can. Talk to healthcare providers before you get up the first time. They may need to help you stand up safely.
  • Support device: You may need a cast, brace, or splint on your ankle. This will help prevent movement so your ankle can heal. You may need to use crutches to help you move around.
  • Elevate: Healthcare providers will prop your ankle on pillows to keep it above the level of your heart. This will help decrease swelling and pain.
  • Pain medicine: Healthcare providers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a healthcare provider when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.


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.


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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Ankle Arthroscopy (Inpatient Care)

Micromedex® Care Notes