What Are the Risks of Arthroscopic Surgery for the Foot and Ankle?

Like any other surgical procedure, arthroscopy comes with several risks, although considerably fewer than open surgery, regardless of which joint it is performed. Arthroscopy has a 90% success rate, and the risk of infection from this procedure is very small, ranging from 0.009% to 0.4%. Nevertheless, patients who undergo arthroscopic surgery for foot and ankle issues can also experience these postoperative complications:

  • blood clots in a vein
  • artery damage
  • excessive bleeding
  • numbness at the incision sites
  • allergic reaction to the anesthesia
  • nerve damage
  • persistent pain in the calf and foot
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • kidney failure
  • recurring swelling, pain, and stiffness

Despite the potential risks, arthroscopic surgery is generally a very safe procedure, and complications are uncommon. To ensure arthroscopy for the foot and ankle will be safe and carried out correctly, the patient must look for a very experienced orthopedic surgeon with at least several years of practice. Having foot or ankle arthroscopy performed by a reputable surgeon further reduces the risk of complications. Lastly, the overall health of every patient who is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery will be thoroughly evaluated to make sure they are a good candidate for the procedure.