Ankle pain is a relatively common problem in society due to increased activity and longevity. More and more Americans are living healthier, energetic lives by exercising via walking, running, jogging, joining health clubs, aerobics, bicycling, skateboarding, and participating in organized sports. Injuries of the foot and ankle may occur during activity, and if left untreated, may progress to serious soft tissue damage or may result in severe degenerative joint disease (arthritis).
Treatment of ankle injury or pain varies with the specific pathology the patient presents to our doctors at Southern California Foot and Ankle Center.
Early conservative treatment may consist of taping and strapping, applying a soft or a hard cast below the knee, medication via oral or injection therapy, aggressive physical therapy, or wearing a special custom shoe or boot. When conservative therapy does not provide satisfactory relief, surgery may be necessary to improve your daily activities. Ankle arthroscopy is one of the least invasive techniques in performing ankle surgery.
Ankle arthroscopy is a valuable aid in the diagnosis and treatment of ankle joint problems. The procedure involves placing a small camera called an arthroscope into the ankle joint which allows the surgeon to view the anatomy of the ankle on a television screen. In addition, a second instrument may be inserted at a second site in order to treat the patient’s problem by cleaning, irrigating, or removing any abnormal pathology within the joint.
Many persons may complain or exhibit:
- Vague ankle pain upon walking, running, or jogging.
- Ankle sprains due to sports, working, or common day injuries.
- Swelling of the ankle joint.
- A “locking or clicking ” type of feeling in the ankle.
- Weak ankles called ankle instability which causes tripping, falling, or severe ankle sprains.
- Arthritis type symptoms (capsulitis, synovitis).
- Chondromalacia (degeneration of cartilage).
- Small cartilage or bone lesions within the joint as a result of previous ankle trauma.
- Ligament tears.
Postoperative care varies with the type of procedure you may undergo, ranging from compressive dressings all the way up to rigid cast application. At minimum, a mild compression dressing will be applied, and you will be allowed to partial weight-bear on the foot and ankle using a cast brace or a surgical shoe from two to six weeks. In office physical therapy may be instituted by the doctors to ensure the ankle regains flexibility during the healing process.
If you display any of the mentioned symptoms, call or visit one of our offices at Southern California Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctors will evaluate your particular problem to decide if the procedure is right for you. Ankle arthroscopy may be performed at a hospital or surgical center. The surgeons at Southern California Foot and Ankle Center are on staff at many convenient locations to perform out-patient ankle arthroscopy. We’re here to help you. For more information, or to make an appointment, please contact the physicians of Southern California Foot and Ankle Center, at any of our convenient locations.