Decision To Have Arthroscopic Surgery

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.

In Decision To Have Arthroscopic Surgery, this is what the scene could look like

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.

These are the tools necessary for arthroscopic surgery.

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.

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26 Comments

  1. Sounds like you have carefully considered all your alternatives and already tried a number of ways to get relief. This doctor seems to be very upfront in telling you the pros and cons and he listened to you which is so important.

    I’m considering knee replacement surgery at the moment and have done much the same as you. Had minimally invasive repair done two years ago and have a series of injections every six months to keep it fluid and flexible but their effect is wearing off too soon now and I’m tired of having my knee in pain and unstable. So seems like this is the time to get serious check out a new doctor who does robotic knee replacement which is supposed to make for a much easier recovery.

    I’ll be thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers that it goes well and you get the relief you need so you can once again enjoy more of your life with much less pain.

  2. Sure hope and pray that this will be the answer for you Brenda!! Sometimes doctors can really help people!! Hope you will be oh so careful afterwards for a good long while!! And stock up on bone broths and foods that will in any way speed along healing!!

  3. It is amazing how advanced so many surgeries have become with minimally invasive procedures, even from 2012 to today. We’re all rooting for you.

  4. Brenda, I am so proud of you for consulting with this doctor! He sounds very competent and seemed to be a good listener. I am wishing you well in the surgery and recovery and that you will finally get some relief.

    1. Brenda, praying for a successful surgery. Being in a walking boot made me have pain in my hip and it’s starting there.

  5. He sounds like a very competent doctor. l really like his approach. And I am glad you have consulted with him. We all want to see you get better.

  6. Sending prayers that all goes well . I understand that if you did nothing you’d always wonder .

  7. This sounds like a good plan from the surgeon. I had arthroscopic surgery on my knee five years ago to repair a torn meniscus. It is indeed minimally invasive but don’t let that fool you – it’s still hard on the inside of what body part they’re working on. I had a hard time with swelling afterwards and it took a lot of PT to get completely healed. I hope all will go well for you and that he won’t need to do any further surgery than the arthroscopic.

  8. It sounds like you have made an informative decision with a surgeon who presented every option for you right now. No one goes into surgery or they shouldn’t without exhausting every medically sound opportunity to provide a healing to existing problem. Thanks for sharing it with your readers and you are in the right neighborhood for love and caring afterwards. Such good people you are surrounded by.

  9. This doctor seems to have covered all the possibilities and shared that with you. That’s the kind of surgeon I trust. Praying you will finally get relief. Try to rest the foot as much as you can until then.

  10. Brenda, it sounds as if he was really listening and then explaining the process to you very thoroughly. You know that we are all wanting the very best for a good result, your own home team.
    And pets to Ivy girl, sweet kitty girl.

  11. It’s wonderful that you’ve found a communicative surgeon who is straightforward and open with you regarding the pros and cons of the procedures. Sounds like a very informed decision you’ve made. Sending prayers for a successful surgery with a quick recovery!

  12. Our prayers are for good results. If Pat or I can help, don’t hesitate to call. 🙏🙏🙏. Ron

    1. Hi Ron! It’s so nice to see you in this comments section! Thanks for letting Brenda share a little of your life with us, and for being such a good neighbor to her! Welcome!

  13. It sounds like this doctor has expertise and knows what he’s talking about. He also tells u the good and the bad results right upfront!
    I’m praying for u Brenda that he’s successful and it brings u relief from all of this pain!!!

  14. Sending prayers your way that this minimally invasive surgery will work for you! As long as the outcome is an improved quality of life, that’s all you can hope for, by whichever means necessary! But let’s hope the least invasive one will get the job done… permanently! And not only that, but hopefully your knee and hip problems will go away too. When is Kendra’s surgery? Wasn’t it supposed to be soon? Sounds like the way your surgeries are spaced out, you’ll be able to help each other.

      1. How is she doing?!! If she doesn’t mind, could you give us an update on her? I hope everything went well for her. Have you been able to help her like you’d planned?

  15. It’s definitely all about your quality of life. I like everything the surgeon said. You won’t know unless you try and if there’s some improvement then that’s a very good thing.
    Just keep taking care of yourself! Enjoy your Wednesday!

  16. Like you said, you have tried every other option. I think you have made the right decision and if the surgeon finds that is not going to work he can make an incision and proceed with the other option! Let’s pray this gives you much needed relief!

  17. Sounds like you have a very good surgeon that will try the least invasive surgery first and only do the more invasive if he sees he cannot do arthroscopy with the camera.

    Your quality of life will improve so much if he is successful. I am praying on that for you Brenda.

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