The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Cool Technology: Arthroscopic Ligament Repair Shows Promise; Find Out What It Means For You

Posted by on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

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For years, open surgery has been the standard method of foot and ankle surgery. Even though arthroscopic surgery has gained popularity in shoulder and knee work, only the most knowledgeable and innovative podiatric surgeons are using it to repair ligaments in the foot and ankle. Here at our NYC Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, we regularly reconstruct ligaments through arthroscopy to minimize recovery time and complications.

What Is Arthroscopy?

The word “arthroscopy” comes from the Greek words “arthro” (joint) and “skopein” (to look). To look within the joint, an orthopedic surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a pencil-sized scope, containing a lens and lighting system, into the body. The arthroscope is attached to a mini TV camera, which allows the surgeon to see inside the body through a very small incision, rather than opening up the entire body and leaving a large scar behind. Small tools can be inserted through the opening to work on the ligament repair, using the video images as a guide.

 

Why Perform Arthroscopic Ligament Repair?

Dr. Peter G. Mangone MD presented his findings at the 2010 American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society’s annual meeting that found lateral ankle ligament reconstruction through arthroscopy was preferable. He didn’t use the technique on people who required more advanced tendon graft reconstruction. However, he reported success in the eight patients who needed a standard reconstruction. After the procedure, patients were placed in a short cast over the next four weeks and then graduated to a lace-up ankle gauntlet brace for another six to twelve weeks.

Three months after surgery, patients were pain-free. Three patients still had mild instability, but all were better off than before the surgery. There were no wound or nerve complications reported. By four to six months, all patients were able to walk without brace support, although Dr. Mangone still recommended an ankle stabilizing orthosis brace for activities like hiking for up to twelve months. He concluded, “I think we are in the dawn of a new era, which requires further prospective studies comparing arthroscopic and open procedures.”

What Is Arthroscopy Used For In Podiatry?

Today we can use arthroscopy for the following foot and ankle procedures:

  • Ankle instability
  • Chronic ankle pain
  • Cartilage fractures
  • Scar tissue removal
  • Torn ligaments
  • Torn tendons
  • Loose bodies
  • Arthritis

As surgery gravitates toward smaller and less invasive procedures that disrupt the tissue as little as possible, we are seeing faster recovery times and a significantly reduced number of complications like infections, scarring, numbness and delayed healing. We feel arthroscopy has revolutionized the treatment of foot and ankle ligaments and we are pleased to offer you the latest techniques to facilitate your recovery from pain and injury.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.