Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Ankle FAQ


I'm going to have arthroscopic surgery on my ankle to remove some bone fragments from a football injury. How does the surgeon know where to stick the needle going in?


Ankle arthroscopy is on the rise. Surgeons use this method of diagnosing foot and ankle disorders more and more. Arthroscopy has made it much easier to "see" inside the joint. A long thin, needle with a tiny TV camera on the end is inserted through the skin into the joint. The surgeon sees what the camera sees displayed up on a video screen.

Surgery to remove bone fragments and other loose bodies is possible with this technique. Ankle replacement or fusion can be done arthroscopically. Many other ankle operations are performed using this method.

Usually there are two or three places where the needle can be inserted. The goal is to enter the joint without damaging the surrounding soft tissues. The surgeon must avoid piercing blood vessels or nerves. He or she must enter the joint without going too far and punching through the bone.

How this is done is determined using cadavers (bodies preserved after death for study). Anatomic studies of this type are used to find safe entrance called portals into the joint. Sometimes live patient studies are done.

Recently a new entry point has been discovered for the ankle. Surgeons from Gachon Medical School in Korea describe a posteromedial (PM) portal for ankle arthroscopy. They report the use of this PM portal to remove bone fragments in one case of a 29-year old man was safe and effective. Jae Ang Sim, MD, et al. New Posteromedial Portal for Ankle Arthroscopy. In The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery. July 2006. Vol. 22. No. 7. Pp. 799.e1-799.e2.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.

Our Specialties

Where Does It Hurt?

Our Locations

  Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on YouTube
Follow us on Twitter