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Ankle Arthroscopy (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Watch for signs of infection or compartment syndrome (see below). Both are emergencies. Seek immediate medical care by calling your doctor or the surgeon immediately.

  • If signs or symptoms of an infection occur, call your doctor. Signs of an infection include
    • Fever
    • Pus draining from the incisions
    • Red streaks from the incisions
    • Redness of the skin around the incisions
    • Increasing pain more than two days after surgery
  • Watch for signs of compartment syndrome, a rare but dangerous condition. Compartment syndrome occurs when the pressure of the tissues in a compartment, in this case, in your ankle or calf, is higher than the blood pressure of the vessels supplying that area. The swelling could be responsible for causing this condition. Or a cast or wrapping that is too tight could also result in this condition. The tissues of the ankle are not receiving adequate nutrition, which impairs the ability of the body to heal. Ultimately, this could lead to death of the tissues involved. Things to watch for include the following:
    • Pain or swelling in the leg, more than at the incision sites
    • Numbness or tingling in the leg
    • Change in skin color compared to the other leg
    • A cold leg or foot
  • If you suspect you have an infection in the ankle or compartment syndrome, call your doctor or surgeon immediately for instructions on where to go for treatment. If instructed to do so, or if you are unable to contact your doctor, go to an emergency department.

Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery


Canale, S.T. "Ankle arthroscopy." In: Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 9th ed. Mosby Year Book; 1998:1542-50.

Dee, R., E. Mango, and L. Hurst. "Ankle arthroscopy." In: Principles of Orthopaedic Practice. Vol 2. 1989:1387.

Harrington, P., K.V. Aiyaswami, and M.M. Stephens. "Diagnostic and therapeutic ankle arthroscopy." Ir J Med Sci. Apr-Jun 1996;165(2):121-4. [Medline].

McAllister, J.L., and D.B. Thordarson. "Complications of foot and ankle surgery." Clin Sports Med. Oct 1999;18(4):927-39, viii. [Medline].

Rolf, C., C. Saro, and B. Engstrom, et al. "Ankle arthroscopy under local and general anaesthesia for diagnostic evaluation and treatment." Scand J Med Sci Sports. Aug 1996;6(4):255-8. [Medline].

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/22/2016

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