Ankle Surgery and Ankle Arthroscopy

What is ankle arthroscopy?

An ankle arthroscopy involves a miniature telescope inserted into the foot to allow your surgeon consultant to make a diagnosis and (if necessary) to accurately perform ankle surgery.

If you are suffering from a torn cartilage, ligament damage or arthritis, an ankle arthroscopy allows your surgeon to diagnose and treat common ankle problems such as these without needing to make a large cut in the skin. Your surgeon will be able to see inside your ankle using a camera inserted through small cuts in the skin during ankle surgery. They may be able to treat some of these problems using special surgical instruments, without having to make a larger cut.

What are the benefits of ankle arthroscopy surgery?

The main benefit of this ankle surgery is being able to confirm exactly what the problem is, and in many cases, treat the problem at the same time. After ankle arthroscopy surgery you should feel less pain and recover more quickly.

What will happen during my ankle arthroscopy consultation?

When you meet with your consultant surgeon they'll ensure that you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your ankle arthroscopy, they'll discuss with you what'll happen before, during and after the procedure and any pain you might have. Take this time with your consultant surgeon to ensure your mind is put at rest.

What alternatives are there to ankle arthroscopy?

Physiotherapy may help your ankle, but a torn cartilage does not usually heal on its own without treatment. If you have a torn cartilage the tear can occasionally move out of place and cause your ankle to lock. If your ankle does not unlock on its own, you will need an urgent arthroscopy. Your surgeon will discuss with you if you require this surgery.

What will happen during surgery?

The ankle arthroscopy operation usually takes around 30-45 minutes under anaesthetic. Your surgeon will examine your ankle ligaments while your muscles are relaxed. They will then insert a special camera through one or more small cuts on the front or side of your ankle and examine the inside of your ankle for damage to the cartilages, joint surfaces and ligaments. They will wash out any loose material caused by wear of the joint surfaces. Your surgeon should be able to trim or repair a torn cartilage without needing to make a larger cut. Your surgeon will finish by closing the skin with stitches or sticky strips.

For more information, and if you have any queries about the procedure, speak to your consultant. Continue your normal medication unless you are told otherwise.

These lifestyle changes can help make the operation a success:

  • Giving up smoking
  • Exercising regularly. Your GP can recommend exercises.

Possible complications

  • Bleeding after surgery
  • Some pain is common with most operations
  • Developing a lump under the wound after surgery. This is caused by bleeding under the skin and should settle after a few weeks
  • Infection in the ankle joint, which is rare, but will usually require further surgery
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of the use of your ankle, which is rare.

This is not a definitive list and symptoms will vary with each patient. Please ask your consultant for more information.

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home on the same day as the operation, however your surgeon may recommend you stay a little longer.

You will have a bandage on your ankle for two to three days, and it is common for the ankle to feel slightly swollen for a few weeks after surgery. You may need to have stitches removed. Walking can be uncomfortable and you may have to use crutches. You may need painkillers and your physiotherapist will show you exercises to help you regain your muscle strength. Remember, you won’t be able to drive home after an arthroscopy.

You should make a good recovery and your surgeon or physiotherapist will advise as to when you can resume normal activities. Occasionally further cartilage tears do happen. If you have a large piece of torn cartilage removed, there’s a small risk of developing arthritis of the ankle.



Ankle arthroscopy

Patient pathway Initial consultation Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A £5,208 Included £5,208
Consultants fees £200 Included Included £200
Total £5,408
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Main treatment
Hospital fees £5,208
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £5,408

Terms & Conditions

This is a guide price for your consultation and treatment package. Your consultant will be able to discuss treatment options and costs with you (subject to your pre-assessment tests) so you are able to make an informed decision that's right for you. Not all consultants participate in the treatment package option as displayed above. The fixed cost will be confirmed in writing at time of booking your treatment. Prices can be subject to change. For more information please refer to our terms and conditions.

Want to find out more? Speak to one of our advisers today

0800 096 2325Live chat

You may also like…

Sometimes when we feel an ache in our ankle or foot it is hard to pinpoint its actual cause and how we can prevent it. Read more

Yes, we love diamonds, but shoes come a close second as a girl's best friend. That is, unless you've got bunions… Read more

Three of our leading physiotherapists answer common questions on what physiotherapy involves, common techniques and the alternative options.

Read more

Want to look at other treatments? or find it on the A-Z list.