Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery involving a joint such as the ankle. The “arthr” refers to a joint and the “scope” refers to a small scope or camera which provides magnified visualization during the surgery. Mini-incisions are utilized to insert the camera and perform the procedure with small instruments. As compared to traditional or “open” surgery, soft-tissue dissection and scarring is less and the recovery is usually quicker with an arthroscopic procedure. Many ankle joint surgeries can be performed via arthroscopy, but some procedures still require an open procedure to properly perform the surgery. The most common ankle arthroscopic procedures are for removal of synovitis/scar tissue, cartilage injuries, excision of bone spurs and debridement or “clean out” of debris for mild ankle arthritis that typically occurs after repetitive sports injuries or trauma.
It must be noted that an arthroscopy is a method of surgery so the recovery, benefits and risks depend on the actual surgical procedure.