Yesterday I had an appointment with the new doctor. This doctor specializes in arthroscopic foot and ankle surgery.
After more tests and further discussion, I decided that I wanted him to perform arthroscopic ankle surgery. This will be scheduled sometime at the end of June.
With arthroscopic surgery, the doctor inserts a small fiber-optic camera through an incision, which projects the view onto a monitor.
What Arthroscopic Surgery Means:
The surgeon then uses small tools to repair tissue damage while using the monitor as guidance.
Because it is less invasive than surgery where an incision is made, recovery time is significantly less. There is also less scarring and fewer complications with ankle arthroscopy.
The technician did x-rays of both ankles, which he says he does to compare them side by side.
He said he could not promise that the ankle will be improved afterward. You’re always taking a chance when you have surgery. Especially when an injury is 10 years old and not clear cut.
He can’t promise that the arthroscopic surgery alone will fix whatever he sees through the fiber-optic camera.
Therefore cutting into the ankle might be the only way to repair it.
He asked if I wanted to have the arthroscopic surgery and then wait to go further.
Possibility Of Having To Make An Incision:
I told him that if there are problems he finds through the fiber optic camera that he can’t repair arthroscopically, to go ahead and make an incision and continue.
This is if he can tell that the minimally invasive surgery isn’t going to fix what needs to be dealt with.
Arthroscopic surgery will be the third surgery for this injury in the last ten years. I had the first surgical procedure in the summer of 2012 when I injured it and the surgeon put hardware in to stabilize the ankle.
Then in 2014 a different surgeon took out the hardware and worked on it further. Which gave me at least some relief until 2021.
Every year since the injury I’ve still had weeks and sometimes months when I had to wear the walking boot. This was alongside weeks of physical therapy.
Gait Changes Over Time:
And over time, my gait has changed making me feel unstable on my feet. Much of this is due to the ankle injury. I’m a senior now and getting a little too old to risk falls.
Benefits Of Arthroscopic Surgery:
- Smaller incisions
- Minimal soft tissue trauma
- Less pain
- Faster healing time
- Lower infection rate
- Less scarring
- Earlier mobilization
- It is same-day surgery where you go home afterward
Risks Of Arthroscopic Surgery:
- Failure of surgery to relieve symptoms
- Failure of repair to heal
- Weakness of the ankle
- Injury to tendons, blood vessels, or nerves
I most likely already have damage to tendons and ligaments. And I already have instability and weakness in my ankle.
It is now affecting my knee, hip and back. The technician told me that that’s what happens when you wear a walking boot long-term. Or have an unresolved injury.
The surgeon told me that it will not get any better than it currently is, so I factored that in. It will only get worse. And he mentioned the quality of life, so I had to take that into consideration.
We talked about the fact that I have already tried every other option available. And nothing has worked to give me relief.
I told my daughter Kendra that I have to try or I will never know and then I’d always wonder.