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Ankle Arthroscopy: Conditions Treated

Arthroscopy is used to find and treat many types of ankle problems. These include; loose bodies, bone spurs, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), and synovitis.

Loose bodies

Loose bodies are bone or cartilage fragments that have chipped off inside the joint. If left in place, they can damage the joint surface, cause pain, and restrict ankle movement. Your surgeon can remove loose bodies from the joint. This will help restore normal, smooth ankle motion.

Closeup of instrument removing loose body from ankle joint.

Bone spurs

When the bones in a joint pinch each other, they are impinged. This problem is often caused by bone spurs (growths) that have formed on the joint. Pressure from the spur may cause pain when you move your ankle. Your surgeon will remove the spur and smooth the bone surface.

Front view of foot with instrument removing bone spur on ankle bone.

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) 

OCD happens when a small piece of bone becomes loose inside the joint. It can happen from trauma or without any obvious cause. OCD can cause pain and swelling. The surgeon can remove the bone or secure it in place. Open surgery may also be needed. If the bone piece is removed, your surgeon may try to stimulate healing by drilling or by putting holes into the remaining exposed bone. 

Front view of foot showing screw holding cartilage in place on ankle bone.

Synovitis

If the lining of the joint (synovium) is pinched, it may become inflamed. This can cause pain and swelling in the ankle. The surgeon can remove the pinched synovium and relieve symptoms.

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Date Last Reviewed: 4/1/2020
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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Click here for more info on Coronavirus (COVID-19), vaccines, and visitor restrictions.
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Kettering Health Network (ketteringhealth.org)
Kettering Health Network Logo
Kettering Health Network Logo
Follow FaceBookFollow YouTubeFollow TwitterFollow LinkedInShare

Find a PhysicianPatients & Visitors
Health ServicesDirections
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Health LibraryHealth Calendar

Pay My Bill

View your statement
and pay your bill online.

Estimate My Bill

Estimate your out-of-pocket
costs for a procedure or visit.

Sign In to MyChart

Access test results and
manage your appointments.

Diseases & Conditions

Get details on symptoms, causes, and treatment options plus related articles, videos & more.