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Ankle Arthroscopy

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.


Ankle arthroscopy is a procedure to look inside your ankle joint. Your healthcare provider will use an arthroscope (tube with a light and camera on the end) to see the joint. An arthroscopy can be used to remove, repair, or rebuild part of your ankle.


The week before your procedure:

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you currently take. Your provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any of your medicines before the procedure. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure.
  • Tell your provider about any allergies you have. Tell him or her if you have ever had an allergic reaction to general anesthesia or contrast liquid. These may be used during your procedure.
  • You may need blood tests before your procedure. You may also need x-rays or a CT scan of your ankle.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after your procedure. If you will be having general anesthesia, the person should stay with you for 24 hours. The person will need to watch for signs of a reaction and call for help if needed.

The night before your procedure:

Your healthcare provider may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

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 healthcare providers 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.
  • Take only the medicines your healthcare provider told you to take.


What will happen:

Your healthcare provider may inject contrast liquid into your ankle. This will help him or her see your ankle joint better during the procedure. Your provider will make an incision on your ankle to insert the arthroscope. More small incisions will be made on your ankle. 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.

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. You may need to wear a splint, brace, or cast.


  • You have a fever.
  • You have an infection.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You have severe pain or trouble moving around.


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.

Care Agreement

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

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