The majority of the population has sustained an ankle sprain at some point in their life which most likely resolved with rest and rehabilitation. However, there are some people that continue to have residual instability and pain months or years after their injury. They are plagued with their ankles rolling or feeling like it will give out despite conservative treatment. According to a study featured on American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) website, it was found that ankle arthroscopy provides great success in providing relief to patients with persistent ankle pain and sense of instability following an ankle sprain (1).

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Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique using fiberoptics, magnifying lenses, and digital video monitors to allow the surgeon to directly visualize the inside of an ankle through small incisions and remove any debris or structures causing instability and impingement within the joint.

The study followed 72 patients who had arthroscopy following an ankle sprain from 2005 to 2007. All these patients had done all the conservative therapy available to them but still had pain. It was found that 67 patients had significant amounts of scar tissue needing removal within the joint and the vast majority were markedly improved at 6 month follow-up visits. This is significant because it shows ankle arthroscopy plays a key role in treating chronic pain and functional instability after ankle trauma especially when nonsurgical treatments have failed (1).

The doctors at Foot Healthcare Associates – Dr. Mozen, Dr. Belken, Dr. Josey, Dr. Martins and myself, Dr. Barnett, are experienced arthroscopic foot and ankle surgeons. This is usually the procedure of choice versus the open procedures due to the small incision sites that heal quicker and there is a shorter recovery time. If you have questions, feel free to email me directly at drsbarnett@michiganpodiatry.com, or set up an appointment at Foot Healthcare Associates by calling 248-258-0001. You can also visit our website at www.michiganpodiatry.com

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References:

1.  Kerr, Hui-Ling; Bayley, Edward ; Jackson, Rosalyn; et al. The role of arthroscopy in the treatment of functional instability of the ankle. Foot and Ankle Surgery, 2013, 19: 273-275.

2.  America Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society. Ankle Arthroscopy. Retrieved January 3, 2014 from http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/conditions/ailments-of-the-ankle/Pages/ankle-arthroscopy.aspx

Dr. Sophia Barnett, DPM
Foot Healthcare Associates
Offices in Livonia, Novi, & Southfield
(248) 258-0001