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Ankle Arthroscopy/Replacement Surgery Specialist

Flower Mound Foot and Ankle Center

Tommie T. Harris, DPM

Foot and Ankle Surgeon & Podiatrist located in Flower Mound & Lewisville, TX

Ankle arthroscopy provides a minimally invasive alternative to traditional open ankle surgery, allowing for a speedier recovery, less scarring, and fewer complications. Expert board-certified podiatrist Tommie Harris, DPM, of Harris Foot and Ankle Institute in Flower Mound, Texas, performs ankle arthroscopy to treat a range of conditions, as well as ankle replacement surgery. For more information on ankle arthroscopy, call the office or schedule an appointment online.

Ankle Arthroscopy/Replacement Surgery Q & A

What is ankle arthroscopy?

Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical and examination technique. Dr. Harris inserts a small video camera, called an arthroscope, into your ankle through a small incision so he can see what’s inside without making a large incision. As needed, he also uses small surgical tools to repair or remove damaged structures in your ankle.

Ankle arthroscopy can treat several different causes of ankle pain, including:

  • Inflammation in the ankle, including arthritis
  • Damage to cartilage
  • Tendonitis and tendon damage
  • Bone spurs
  • Loose bone, cartilage, or scar tissue

Dr. Harris also may recommend arthroscopy to examine your ankle if you have ankle pain, and other diagnostic techniques haven’t uncovered the cause.

What can I expect from ankle arthroscopy?

An ankle arthroscopy lasts about one to two hours, and you’re asleep during the procedure. In addition to a general anesthetic, Dr. Harris administers medication to numb your ankle, which relieves your pain for the first 12-36 hours after the surgery.

You can go home the same day as your procedure, but arrange for someone to drive you. Depending on your condition, Dr. Harris may provide crutches or put your ankle in a cast while you recover.  

Expect to experience some pain after the surgery. Dr. Harris may prescribe medication to manage it and provides additional aftercare instructions.

Depending on the physical requirements of your job, you may be able to return to work within one to two weeks. You may need to wait up to six weeks before you begin a more strenuous activity, including sports.

When is an ankle replacement necessary?

Dr. Harris performs ankle replacement surgery, also known as ankle arthroplasty, to treat late-stage arthritis. If other, nonsurgical forms of treatment haven’t relieved your pain, ankle replacement surgery may be your best option.

Unlike ankle fusion surgery, ankle replacement reduces your pain without affecting the movement in your ankle. Dr. Harris determines if ankle replacement is right for you. In most cases, it’s best for people who are age 60 or older, don’t participate in high-impact exercise (like running), and are generally healthy.

What can I expect from ankle replacement surgery?

Ankle replacement surgery lasts approximately 2½ hours, and you’re asleep during it. Dr. Harris removes damaged portions of your ankle bones and replaces them with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic.

You may experience pain for a few days after the surgery, though it should be far less than the pain you were in before the surgery. Dr. Harris helps you manage post-surgery pain with medication.

It’s important to avoid putting pressure on your ankle while you heal, so you may wear a splint, cast, or boot, and use crutches after the surgery. Dr. Harris may recommend physical therapy so you can regain your strength and mobility. He closely supervises your recovery and rehabilitation.

To learn more about ankle arthroscopy or ankle replacement surgery, call Harris Foot and Ankle Institute or schedule an appointment online.