Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows Dr. Zarate to diagnose and sometimes treat injuries and diseases of the foot and ankle through small incisions in the skin. This procedure is often performed to confirm a diagnosis made after a physical examination and other imaging tests such as MRI, CT or X-rays.
Podiatric surgeons often use arthroscopy to:
- Determine the cause of chronic ankle pain
- Remove loose bodies from the ankle
- Repair torn ligaments
- Repair or remove cartilage
- Remove scar tissue
- Biopsy abnormal tissue within the joint
During an arthroscopic procedure, a thin fiberoptic light, magnifying lens and tiny television camera are inserted into the problem area of the foot or ankle, allowing Dr. Zarate to examine the joint in great detail.
Surgical instruments will then be inserted if needed through additional incisions to remove or repair tissue within the joint. The instruments and arthroscope are then removed and the incisions are closed with sutures. The arthroscopy procedure usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to perform.
After surgery, patients may need to ice the treated area, keep it elevated and wear compression garments. They will be able to return to work, walking and sports activity much faster than with traditional surgery.
BENEFITS OF ARTHROSCOPY
Because it is minimally invasive, arthroscopy offers many benefits to the patient over traditional surgery, including:
- No cutting of muscles or tendons
- Less bleeding during surgery
- Less scarring
- Smaller incisions
- Faster recovery and return to regular activities
- Faster and more comfortable rehabilitation
There is also a reduced risk of infection and swelling due to the small size of the incisions. Arthroscopy is not appropriate for every patient. Dr. Zarate will discuss the options that are best for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition.