Pain in the ankle joint can be caused by various types of injuries and different structures like bones, soft tissue or cartilage. It can be the result of an acute injury or repetitive micro-trauma. As almost half of the patient who suffer an ankle injury do not fully recover it is important to get the correct diagnosis before considering any treatment. Thorough examination of the ankle and foot is crucial but additional imaging like x rays, MRI, standing CT or Ultrasound scan often will help to confirm the diagnosis and initiate the correct treatment. This will help to regain a full recovery.
In case of persistent ankle pain which does not improve despite good physiotherapy further imaging will be needed. When a structural problem inside the ankle like excessive scar tissue, inflammation, a so-called “meniscoid lesion” or a cartilage defect is responsible for the pain, an arthroscopy will be very helpful. Through one small portal a camera and through a separate portal the instruments are inserted into the ankle joint. Any inflammation, scar tissue or bony prominences which cause the pain can be removed. For a cartilage defect, a “microfracturning” procedure is normally the choice of treatment. Arthroscopic procedures mean minimal invasive surgery and promote speedy recovery, less scarring and fewer complications.