Ankle Surgery Overview

Ankle Surgery Overview, TPL Orthopedics and Sports MedicineAnkle Surgery Overview

An ankle is one of the commonly injured joints in the human body. If the injury is severe, the patient may have to undergo arthroscopic surgery to treat the damaged joint surfaces. The surgery will also enable the treatment of ligament insufficiency or laxity. Past ankle injuries may lead to post traumatic arthritis, which can also be treated with arthroscopic technique.

In more severe ankle injuries, the patient may require a joint altering surgery such as joint replacement or fusions. Board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steven Thomas along with highly trained and experienced orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gregory Bigler provides ankle surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada and surrounding communities.

Ankle Arthroscopy

Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery performed by an orthopedic surgeon to address problems related to the ankle. The goal of the surgery is to improve overall ankle function and mitigate ankle pain. Various disorders of the ankle joint can be treated with arthroscopy.

Ankle fusion can be performed with arthroscopy in a case where the patient is suffering from end-stage ankle arthritis. If the ankle has suffered a fracture, ankle arthroscopy may be combined with open surgical techniques to repair the ankle. In cases where the ankle has become unstable with the ligaments of the ankle stretching out, the ligaments can be tightened with an arthroscopic technique.

If scar tissue formation occurs within the ankle, the surgeon may employ arthroscopy technique to identify the scar tissue and remove it. An infection in the ankle joint may also require arthroscopy. Loose bodies can cause a painful joint or locking of the joint, which can be treated with arthroscopy. Dr. Thomas is a board certified orthopedic surgeon, who along with leading orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bigler, provides ankle surgery to patients in Las Vegas, NV.

Surgical Procedure

The surgeon will mark the operative leg before the procedure begins, and the patient will be administered anesthesia. The leg will be cleaned thoroughly and in some cases the surgeon may use a device to stretch the ankle joint in order to improve the view. The surgeon will make at least two minor incisions in the front and back of the ankle. Through these incisions, the surgeon will insert the arthroscopic camera and surgical instruments.

A sterile fluid will be sent into the joint to allow it to expand and enable for better viewing. The surgeon will employ an appropriate technique to correct or repair the ankle joint through the incisions. Once the surgery is completed, the incisions will be closed with sutures. A sterile dressing will be used to cover the sutures. In many cases, the surgeon will use a splint or a boot.


Mild pain and swelling is likely to be experienced by most patients. The surgeon may advise the patient to keep the leg in an elevated position for a few days. Pain medications will be needed in the first week. Several weeks or months as a waiting period may be necessary before the patient can put weight on the leg.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9394

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