Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist) Questions Ankle Injuries and Disorders

Why am I experiencing ankle pain after two years of arthroscopic surgery?

I underwent an arthroscopic surgery two years back. I have been taking it slow post the surgery and exercising all the precautions required. I am now experiencing ankle pain. What could be the reason for this?

10 Answers

You possibly have nerve entrapment secondary to surgery. I would advise you to go see a foot and ankle surgeon near your home.
I would make an appointment because there may be other things going on with the ankle. There could be arthritis and bone spurs that were unable to be removed arthroscopicaly or nerve impingement. Maybe you are having pain from a different joint. Without the proper physical exam and imaging modalities it’s hard to say. But you shouldn’t be walking around in pain. There’s always a reason and solution.
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It’s hard to say exactly why you are having pain now without knowing exactly why your surgeon did the arthroscopic procedure on your ankle. However, arthroscopic procedures for certain ankle conditions are only a temporary fix for the problem addressed. This may be the case for you and your surgeon should have discussed this with you prior to your surgery.
There are a lot of reasons for continued pain post-arthroscopy. It could be residual tissue blockade, osteochondral lesion, spurring or arthritis. This would be better explored with a full work up including X-rays, clinical exam, and MRI.
Without original diagnosis that warranted the arthroscopic procedure, I cannot provide you appropriate reason for the recurrent ankle pain. Ankle arthroscopy is generally performed in order to survey, repair or perform ablation of disease process to the joint. We perform arthroscopy to assess the joint and help diagnose pathology. If possible, we repair disease through arthroscopic approach.
Conditions frequently managed include chronic inflammation of the joint lining and scar formations, addressing injuries of the cartilage surface, managing ligament damage. In advanced arthritic disease states, we can use arthroscopic technique to fuse the joint. Unfortunately, diseases of joint can be progressive. We try to manage disorders for the here and now and hopefully provide sustainable outcome through minimally invasive technique, but there are disorders that can persist or relapse. My recommendation for you is to return to your surgeon
and be re-evaluated.
Chronic degenerative arthritis. Also, you can be unresponsive to arthroscopic surgery. First step in determining this would be a repeat MRI of the ankle. Lab work should be performed to rule out any autoimmune diseases of the ankle.
Like with any surgery, even orthroscopic nerve endings get sacrificed during the procedure. If you remember your surgical consent describes all the nerve damage always caused by surgery. Try Folic Acid 3 Times per day and ask for a nerve conduction test.
Is the ankle pain sudden after a long period of relief or has the pain been there continuously since the arthroscopy? Also did you have any physical therapy post-op? Please E-mail me back with your answer.
There could be many reasons why you're experiencing ankle pain 2 years after arthroscopic surgery. It could be that the initial problem returned. It could also be that another issue has developed. Recommend going back to see the physician that performed arthroscopic surgery for evaluation.
Hello and thank you for the question. I am sorry you are having ankle pain two years after surgery. There are numerous reasons you could be having pain and it is premature for me to comment on what may be going on without a complete workup. Sometimes talar dome lesions are missed but I am sure the surgeon ordered a MRI pre operatively for pre-op planning. Please contact the office for additional questions. Thank you for your inquiry.