The ankle joint (or talocrural joint) is a synovial joint located in the lower limb. It is formed by the bones of the leg and the foot – the tibia, fibula and talus. Functionally, it is a hinge type joint, permitting dorsiflexion and plantarflexion of the foot.
Ankle pain or ankle joint pain is a description of pain emerging from the transition from the lower leg to the ankle to the foot. The ankle joint is strongly strained during daily life and sports activities because it has to bear all the body weight. Compared to other joints of the human body, the ankle joint has to bear the highest weight in relation to its small cartilage surface.
Causes of ankle pain are various. Possible causes are a strain, overload, congenitally soft or deformed ligaments, cartilage, joints or malposition of the foot.
In addition to that, ankle joint pain may also emerge as a symptom of the following injuries:
Sprained Ankle/Twisted Ankle/Ankle Sprain
Os trigonum syndrome
Achilles tendon rupture
In case of ankle joint pain, a comprehensive orthopedic examination is carried out often accompanied by imaging procedures like X-raying or MRI. The best method to differentiate between different injuries is MRI.MRI enables us to visualize very different structures during one examination like muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and bones. If necessary, we do also apply a well-tolerated contrast agent to improve the visibility of certain structures.
The treatment of ankle pain is subject to the examination results. Some injuries can be treated conservatively with immobilization, cooling and putting the feet up, bandages as well as physiotherapy and strengthening of the muscles of foot and leg to regenerate stability, mobility, and strength. If necessary, special bandages or orthoses may help stabilize the ankle joint.
Minimally invasive ankle surgery/ankle arthroscopy
Minimally invasive ankle surgery at Beta Klinik has often performed arthroscopically. It is also commonly known as ankle arthroscopy, ankle endoscopy or keyhole surgery. Ankle arthroscopy has revolutionized the treatment of ankle injuries because it is gentle since less tissue is damaged, and it has a lower risk of infections in comparison to open surgery. In addition to that, it has shortened recovery periods and the duration of hospitalization, and it makes a quick return to work, sports and daily activities possible.
During ankle arthroscopy, an endoscope is inserted through small incisions of about 1 cm length (0.4 inches). Inside the endoscope is a camera that enables us to visualize the inner of the ankle as well as damaged structures enlarged at a monitor.
Due to these features, ankle arthroscopy is also an effective diagnostic procedure since damaged structures can be directly visualized in opposite to imaging procedures like MRI, CT or X-raying. This makes a direct evaluation of the extent of the injury possible.
General advantages of minimally invasive ankle surgery and ankle arthroscopy
(in comparison to other surgery methods, the extent may vary subject to the surgery type)
easy on the body
reduced risk of infections
short periods of hospitalization and recovery
a quick return to work, sports, and daily activities
diagnostics and treatment are possible within the same procedure
Aftercare and rehabilitation minimally invasive ankle surgery/ankle arthroscopy
After ankle arthroscopy and other minimally invasive procedures of ankle surgery, physiotherapy and rehabilitation measures follow. The aim of physiotherapy and rehabilitation is to improve the mobility, range of motion and strength of the ankle in order to make a quick return to normal life possible. Furthermore, it is recommended to improve the condition of the ankle also to prevent new ankle injuries.
Return to work after minimally invasive ankle surgery/ankle arthroscopy
After a short hospitalization of a few days, the inability of work amounts 2-6 weeks. Sitting work postures are possible much earlier than physical labor postures.
Return to sports activities after minimally invasive ankle surgery/ankle arthroscopy
Return to sports after ligament or tendon reconstruction is possible after 3 months. Less complex arthroscopic surgeries enable resuming sports activities after 2-6 weeks.