COVID-19 Update | Full Return of Elective Surgery in South Australia
Dr Crowley specialises in arthroscopic surgery of the ankle and ankle ligament reconstructive surgery.
An ankle arthroscopy is a common, minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used to visualise and diagnose various ankle conditions for treatment. These conditions include arthritis, bony ankle impingement, loose bodies of or damage to cartilage, synovitis, scar tissue and other rare conditions.
The procedure generally involves day surgery or overnight hospital admission along with anaesthesia, with or without nerve blocks. Two small insertions are made through which an arthroscope and instruments are inserted. The surgeon can then visually inspect and treat the ankle for the problem identified.
Due to the small size of the incisions, the incision can heal and activities of daily living can be resumed in a matter of days. A higher level of activity may take four to six weeks to attain, following a dedicated course of physiotherapy.
Ankle ligament reconstructive surgery is performed to repair the stabilising ligament structures of the ankle that may be damaged due to trauma or illness. The aim of the surgery is to alleviate pain and restore normal stability, range of movement and functionality.
The procedure is performed via small incisions in the ankle and under general anaesthesia +/- nerve block and sedation. The necessary repairs to the ligaments are then performed. Recovery will take six weeks to three months, depending on the patient’s age, general medical condition and adherence to a physiotherapy program.
The Achilles tendon, connects the calf muscle to the heel, may be ruptured when it is stretched beyond its capacity. The rupture is a separation of the tendon fibres, which cause the inability of the tendon to perform its normal function.
Surgery to repair an Achilles rupture involves overnight admission to hospital and anaesthesia with or without a nerve block. An incision is made through which the ruptured tendon is stitched together. Depending on the degree of injury, additional tendons may be needed to reinforce the Achilles. Recovery will take between three and twelve months before the patient returns to normal activity levels. Rehabilitation and physical therapy are essential to proper recovery.
Ankle tendonitis is the inflammation of one or more of the tendons surrounding the ankle joint. This is usually caused by overuse from repeated strenuous activity. Abnormal foot structures or medical conditions such as arthritis, Diabetes and gout may also lead to the development of ankle tendonitis.
Tendonitis is usually managed conservatively with rest, physiotherapy, a stretching program and possible ultrasound guided Cortisone steroid injection. If the pain persists or becomes debilitating to normal daily activity, surgery may be recommended to alleviate pain and restore normal function.