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Foot / Ankle

Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat injuries and abnormalities within the joints. This procedure is commonly used to confirm a diagnosis made by physical examination and imaging techniques. It can also be used to treat conditions within the joints, providing they are not too complicated.

Although most commonly performed in the knee and hip, arthroscopy can also be beneficial in diagnosing and treating conditions of the ankle joint, including:

  • Tissue bands
  • Ligament tears
  • Articular cartilage damage
  • Bone spurs
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis

Ankle arthroscopy is performed on an outpatient basis and uses tiny incisions to access the ankle joint. During this procedure, a camera tube called an arthroscope is inserted into one of the incisions and small surgical instruments into the others. The arthroscope allows the surgeon to visually examine the ankle joint and guide the instruments to the area for treatment. The surgical instruments will be inserted if needed to remove or repair tissue within the ankle joint.

Arthroscopy offers many benefits over a traditional open surgery because of its minimally invasive nature, including:

  • Shorter recovery times
  • Less scarring
  • Less bleeding
  • Smaller incisions
  • No cutting of muscles or tendons
  • Less pain and discomfort

Instability / Ligament Repairs

A sprain involves a tearing a ligaments within the ankle as a result of a sports injury, fall, accident or other type of trauma. This injury often causes pain, swelling and bruising, and may lead to ankle instability, as the condition is prone to recur. Ankle ligament reconstruction is commonly performed on patients with ankle instability or repeated sprains, as it is effective in tightening loosened ligaments and improving the overall stability of the joint.

Ligament repairs are performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the two ligaments may be simply reattached, or part of a lateral tendon around the ankle may be used to repair the torn ligament. Dr. Chao will decide which technique is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition. Most patients recover well from ankle ligament reconstruction, and can resume all regular activities after a period of physical therapy.

Jones / 5th Metatarsal Fractures

A Jones fracture involves an injury to the fifth metatarsal bone of the foot, which is the bone at the base of the small toe. It was named for Sir Robert Jones, who first described the fracture in an article in 1902. This type of injury most often occurs as a result of an ankle sprain or other type of inversion foot injury, and not as a result of direct impact to the area. A Jones fracture may also be caused by a stress or fatigue fracture.

Patients with a Jones fracture may experience pain on the middle and outside of their foot, along with swelling and difficulty walking. Treatment for a Jones fracture is most often done by immobilizing the area with a cast and using crutches to avoid putting weight on the bone. If a Jones fracture does not heal properly, it can become a chronic condition and may require surgery to repair the fracture and keep the bone in place with a screw or bone graft. Surgery may also be performed as the initial treatment option for competitive athletes or other patients who require a speedy healing period from this type of injury.

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