Ankle arthroscopy is a surgery that involves a tiny camera (arthroscope) and small incisions at the ankle to repair damaged tissue. This surgical technique is beneficial as it avoids larger, invasive incisions decreasing pain and recovery time. Though, the outcome of ankle arthroscopy is not solely determined by the procedure itself, as the patient should take necessary steps after surgery to encourage optimal recovery.
Here are some tips for healing after ankle arthroscopy:
- Get lots of rest
It is no secret that rest and sleep can jumpstart the healing process. Your body works harder while you sleep to heal your surgical site and thus rest is the best thing you can do for your injury.
- Keep swelling down
Most of the pain after ankle arthroscopy is due to inflammation in your ankle. You can keep swelling down by engaging in the RICE method. Resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the ankle are extremely important and will help to reduce inflammation after surgery.
- Keep the surgical area dry
It is important to keep the incision site dry to avoid any surgical complications. Regularly changing your dressings for 3 days following surgery is necessary to keep the site clean and dry. You can transition from dressing to waterproof bandages, ensuring to replace them whenever they get wet.
- Engage in gentle exercises
Initially, your physician will advise you to keep your ankle immobile and avoid putting any unnecessary pressure on your ankle. But after you have passed the prescribed immobility stage of recovery, your physical therapist will recommend some gentle stretching exercises to regain flexibility in your ankle joint.
- Stay conscious of any unexpected pain
Post-operative complications can occur and thus it is important to keep an eye out for any unexpected pain in your ankle. In addition to pain, if you begin to run a fever or notice any signs of infection at the incision site, you should notify your physician right away.
Ankle arthroscopy is a great surgical option that allows for minimal tissue damage and less recovery time. You can speed up your recovery if you follow the tips listed above. If you have any additional questions on ways to heal after ankle surgery, contact Dr. Ho for guidance!
Dr. Bryant S. Ho is board-certified in orthopedic surgery and is trained in the operative and non-operative management of adolescent and adult foot and ankle disorders. Dr. Ho places a strong emphasis on customizing his care for each patient to ensure successful outcomes. He provides all treatment options, including preventative care, conservative management, and operative intervention.