Overlooked Treatments for Ankle Pain


Don’t let ankle pain keep you from enjoying the things that you love. Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique which allows orthopedic surgeons to visualize, diagnose and treat a variety of conditions.

It’s also a key option in helping patients return to an active and pain-free lifestyle.

Ankle arthroscopy is a procedure in which a small camera is placed through two 3mm incisions made on the front of the ankle. This camera captures live images and displays them to a digital video monitor.

Surgeons also place other small instruments into the ankle to perform more procedures.

One of the benefits to ankle arthroscopy is that it’s a faster option for recovery. Traditional larger incisions on the ankle lead to swelling, bleeding, pain, scarring and a longer post-operative recovery.

Could ankle arthroscopy be a solution for you? If you suffer from any of these common conditions, it might be a treatment option worth consider.

Osteochondral Defect (OCDs)

These are localized areas of damaged cartilage that can be a result of repetitive trauma within the join or a result of a previous injury. Loose bone and cartilage can be removed and holes be placed in the underlying bone to help fill the area with a less durable form of cartilage. This can help alleviate symptoms in over 80 percent of cases.

Ankle Impingement

Ankle impingement is a painful “wear and tear” injury that limits full ankle range of motion and mobility. It commonly occurs on the front of the ankle and can take the form of bone spurs and/or inflammatory tissue.

Symptoms include pain and swelling of the specific area.

While it’s most common in athletes like dancers and gymnasts, it can occur in non-athletes as well. Through the use of ankle arthroscopy, the source of the pain can be removed.


Synovitis is a medical condition in which the lining of the joint (synovium) becomes inflamed or overgrown—causing pain. These areas of synovium can easily be removed through ankle arthroscopy.

Loose Bodies

Pieces of bone or cartilage, called loose bodies, can break off in the ankle join which can lead to a sense of “catching” the ankle and causing pain.

Unexplained Ankle Symptoms

In some cases, the reason for a patient to experience ankle pain isn’t entirely clear, despite appropriate testing. Ankle arthroscopy is an excellent tool used to visualize the inside of the ankle and help to identify any potential problems.

Ankle Fusions

Ankle fusion is a surgical option for patients with very advanced ankle arthritis. In the right type of patient, this can be performed with the aid of arthroscopy.

Ankle Instability

Patients with multiple ankle sprains can develop ankle instability. This is when the ligaments of the outside of the ankle no longer are functional and conservative treatment isn’t improving the symptoms. Often a reconstruction of these ligaments is needed.

Are you a victim to some of these ankle problems and frustrations? Take action and find orthopedic treatment centers and programs at a facility near you.

About the author

Dr. Sarang Desai
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Dr. Desai is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in injuries and disorders of the foot and ankle. He was an All-American athlete and continues to lead an active lifestyle lifting weights, doing triathlons and participating in yoga.

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Overlooked Treatments for Ankle Pain