Some conditions of the ankle involve problems within the joint and can be treated by keyhole surgery.
Ankle arthroscopy is undertaken to deal with loose bodies, joint surface injuries and synovitis in the ankle. These problems can arise after injury or due to underlying inflammatory conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis.
No specific pre-operative preparation is required other than keeping the skin around your ankle healthy and clean.
Ankle arthroscopy is performed under a general anaesthetic in hospital. The telescope is introduced through a very small incision over the front of the ankle and most of the joint can be viewed this way. Surgical instruments are introduced into a separate small incision.
Normally you can fully weight-bear on the ankle immediately and you will be able to go home the same day. It takes ten to fourteen days for your wounds to heal and by then you are ready for some physiotherapy to help you mobilise the joint and to retrain your muscles.
As this is a minimally invasive procedure the risks are reasonably small but do exist. You may develop a blood clot, sustain an injury to the nerve at the front of the ankle or even develop an infection in the joint. These problems are generally exceedingly rare.
Once the ankle has been injured multiple times or your ankle remains chronically painful and unstable it is not possible to relieve the pain by just training your muscles so there is no non-surgical alternative to deal with this form of ankle pathology.