Find Your Location
Understanding the Basics Behind Ankle Arthroscopy
What is Ankle Arthroscopy?
Getting you back in the game with professional treatment.
Your body relies on many joints to function properly, but sometimes those joints give out from wear and tear.
Pain in the ankle joint can make even everyday tasks more difficult. With ankle arthroscopy in Kansas City from Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, our team can safely treat your ankle pain without open surgery—allowing you to get back to living your life.
Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure, which allows surgeons to see inside the ankle joint utilizing a tiny camera. Our physicians generally exhaust and explore every option before recommending arthroscopy or more invasive procedures.
An initial examination with your KCOA physician will allow us to recommend the best treatment for your individual needs. Our practitioners provide the comprehensive care you need so you can return to the activities you enjoy.
Other common symptoms that may require an ankle arthroscopy include:
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance Foot & Ankle Injuries Assessment
Assessing the Injury
Determining the proper treatment for your foot and ankle injury starts with an assessment from one of our experienced providers.
You can think of foot and ankle pain as a spectrum, with some instances being more severe than others. The KCOA orthopedic specialists always focus on each individual patient and their concerns before creating a treatment plan.
Therefore, during your initial appointment, we will often ask questions such as:
The answers to these questions help shape the next steps of the assessment process and guide our physical examination. After a proper assessment, we often begin with a physical examination to help determine the origin point of your pain. In some cases, advanced testing may be required for a full diagnosis.
Also called radiographs, an X-ray captures a picture of the ankle, heel, or lower leg. Orthopedic physicians may order an X-ray to rule out the possibility of a fracture (broken bone), osteoarthritis, or other bone-related conditions.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI captures images of muscles, bones, intervertebral discs, and tendons to help provide information other tests can’t detail. During an MRI, you will lie on a table that slides into a tube-shaped scanner. The machine creates a magnetic field around you, using pulsed radio waves to form the MRI images.
A computerized tomography (CT) scan can provide a series of X-ray images taken from the ankle, showing the bones, blood vessels, and soft tissue in your body. A CT scan ultimately provides more detailed information than a regular X-Ray.
Establishing a Care Plan
Based on the results of your interview, examination, and imaging studies, you can expect a custom care plan catered to you.
Many people believe it’s best to wait until pain becomes severe, leading them to “put off” or delay treatments like foot or ankle injuries. If you are in constant discomfort, have shooting or stabbing pains, have limited range of motion, or an inability to perform your daily activities, let our experts determine the treatments that might be right for you. New technologies allow patients with severe foot and ankle pain to fully recover and enjoy the benefits of a more functional, pain-free lifestyle.
Prior to surgery, you will typically receive at least 2 phone calls:
Dependent on your health history, your physician may require:
Pre-operative instructions will vary depending on your physician and the location of your surgery. Always check with your physician before surgery for specific instructions.
Most physicians require that patients not eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery. Additionally, you will need to designate a family member or friend to drive you home on the day you are released from the hospital. Surgical patients cannot drive themselves home.
Day of Surgery
If you schedule your surgery with a KCOA physician, you can expect the following on surgery day:
How it Works
Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows surgeons to see inside the joint. A small tube with a camera is inserted through a minor incision, allowing the surgeon to make a more definitive diagnosis and eliminating the need for a large surgical incision.
We typically use arthroscopy to make a diagnosis when X-rays and other imaging tools do not provide answers. In many cases, KCOA physicians also use arthroscopy to treat orthopedic conditions.
During an ankle arthroscopy in Kansas City, you will remain under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes several small incisions around the ankle, so they can insert a tiny camera (arthroscope) into the joint, giving them a clear guide for the surgical instruments. Saline-based fluid flows through the arthroscope to keep the image clear and bleeding minimal. This is quite different from an open surgery, which requires a much larger incision and longer recovery times.
After assessing the injury and condition, your surgeon will begin the repair. Ankle arthroscopy gives access to many repair options, such as removing inflamed tissue, loose bone fragments and cartilage or even releasing scar tissue that may be blocking your motion. Repairs of ligaments, tendons and even certain fractures can be accomplished through arthroscopy as well.
After your surgery, you will remain in the recovery room before being discharged. Our experienced clinical team will monitor you during this recovery and provide pain relief medication, if needed. Many patients will be fit with a splint after surgery, and the amount of time in the splint depends on the severity of your procedure. You may also be provided crutches or a walker to ensure you are able to limit the amount of force you put through the repair. Arthroscopy isn’t as invasive as normal surgeries, but it may still take from a few weeks to a few months for your ankle to fully recover.
What to Expect
You can expect swelling and pain in your foot and ankle for several days after surgery. With that, it’s important to keep your ankle elevated with an ice pack after surgery to reduce swelling and pain.
You will gradually regain your motion and strength with the help of a physical or occupational therapist. These experts will guide you through the proper exercises and stretches to ensure you achieve your best outcome.
We recommend regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and monitoring your blood sugar levels if you’re diabetic. In doing so, you may reduce the amount of stress on your joints to slow down any potential degenerative process.
Generally, surgery is not the first choice for treatment at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance. Only after we’ve explored and exhausted every potential non-invasive option will our physicians recommend a surgical procedure, such as an ankle arthroscopy.
Non-surgical treatments for ankle injuries can include:
Common Signs and Symptoms of Foot & Ankle Injuries
With so many different parts working together in your feet and ankles, there are many potential causes of pain. And each of those causes has a unique set of symptoms.
Ankle injuries often cause pain and swelling in the area that might stretch from the bones on the sides of your ankle down to your toes, making it difficult to walk or move the ankle properly. In less severe cases, you may feel pain and stiffness in the area. When a patient visits one of our KCOA offices, a skilled orthopedic specialist will ask you questions regarding your symptoms, what aggravates/alleviates your symptoms, and whether you have attempted prior therapies. Next comes a thorough physical exam. We will then review any images you bring with you and/or take new images. After determining the cause of your pain, we can discuss if shoulder arthroscopy will work best for your needs.
Causes of Foot & Ankle Pain
The body has different kinds of joints, and they all face different challenges. The foot and ankle combine for a complex region of the body, totaling 26 bones and 33 small joints that experience daily wear and tear. Soft tissue protects the joints and bones and is made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels.
With all of these different bones in your feet and ankles, injuries and arthritis are a common problem. Even if you aren’t an athlete, injuries can occur during even the most mundane tasks, like stubbing your toe or dropping something on your foot. They can even happen with a simple misstep.
Fracture can range dramatically in severity, from tiny breaks that are nearly undetectable, to significant injuries causing deformity. Our specialists are trained to diagnose and catch them all.
The range of severity when it comes to injuries in your feet and ankles also varies. Some issues, like sprains and strains, can be treated with rest, icing, and other conservative methods. In other cases, such as a full fracture or torn ligament, an ankle arthroscopy in Kansas City may be required.
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance is here to help.
Our care is personal. Our team is knowledgeable. And we’re more available than ever.
With access to board-certified specialists across Kansas City, we have the tools to meet almost every musculoskeletal condition.
Overland Park, Kansas10777 Nall Ave Suite 300 Overland Park, KS 66211
Leawood, Kansas3651 College Blvd. Leawood, KS 66211
Kansas City, MissouriSaint Luke's Medical Plaza #1 4320 Wornall Rd., Ste. 610 Kansas City, MO 64111
Belton, MissouriBelton Regional Campus 17067 S Outer Rd #301 Belton, MO 64012
Merriam, Kansas7450 W. Frontage Rd Merriam, KS 66203
Dr. Ting and his staff are the best!
Dr. Ting and his staff are the best! Sarah his nurse is kind and supportive. Dr. Tings nurse for surgery was absolutely the best! Dr. Ting, I have complete faith in. He is who I shall go to for anything he handles! Can’t say enough about him! Thank you all for making a scary time a completely peaceful event. You are the best!!
6 weeks post op and Dr. Brown says I’m progressing well. She’s very knowledgeable, and is very quick to answer any questions I have. She’s also very personable, we laughed a lot during my last appointment. Looking forward to seeing her again.
Dr. Scott Ellsworth is one of the best
Dr. Scott Ellsworth is one of the best I have ever worked with. He is knowledgeable, efficient, caring, and knows his patients. He has a special bedside manner that makes any patient in any situation feel comfortable. All of the nurses and office staff are wonderful as well.