FAQs About Arthroscopic Surgery
By Ankle and Foot Institute
November 11, 2015
Category: Foot Care

Find out everything you need to know about your upcoming arthroscopic procedure.

Has your St. Louis, MO foot doctor Dr. Richard Wittock told you that you could benefit from arthroscopic surgery? Don’t let foot or ankle pain keep you from living the life you deserve. Find out more about this minimally invasive surgery and how it could benefit you.

Q. Why is arthroscopic used?

A. Arthrosopic means, “to look within the joint”. This device is used alongside physical exams and imaging tests to help make a final decision about certain joint problems. Arthroscopic examinations of the joints are often used to check for:

  • Inflammation
  • Acute or chronic injuries of the shoulders, wrists, knees or bone (e.g. meniscal tears)
  • Arthritis

Q. What should I expect from arthroscopic surgery?

A. Many patients in St. Louis often prefer this procedure because the recovery process is much easier than with traditional open surgery. You will still need anesthesia though, and the form of anesthesia that we administer will depend on your specific joint issues.

Your St. Louis podiatrist will then make a tiny incision in the skin to insert the arthroscope. We may need to make other small incisions around the site in order to insert other surgical instruments. Once your surgery is finished, we will stitch up the area and then cover the treated area with dressing. If necessary, we can prescribe pain medication for you to take during your recovery (even though not everyone will need this).

We will also tell you how to care for your incision and what physical activities you should stay away from and for how long. We will also schedule a follow-up to make sure that everything is healing properly and to remove the sutures.

Q. What are the benefits of getting arthroscopic surgery?

A. There is a reason this type of surgery has become a popular choice for many patients. It offers fewer side effects and is easier on the patient than traditional surgery. Also, because the incisions are small, scarring is less visible. Plus, this procedure is performed as an outpatient surgery so patients can often be discharged and be back home a few hours after surgery.

Q. What will my recovery be like after surgery?

A. It will take a couple days for the incision to heal. Your St. Louis foot doctor will tell you how to remove the dressings and reapply new ones to protect the incision as it heals.

It will take the joint itself a few weeks to recover. During this time we will tell you what activities to avoid and suggest rehabilitation exercises or programs to speed up your recovery. But you will be able to go back to work or school within a few days. If you are an athlete we will also talk to you about when you may return to your normal activities.

For all of your foot care needs turn to the leaders at Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO.