I have a few questions about my ankle injury and about my ankle arthroscopy which I am due to have in a week.
Back in April I rolled my ankle playing soccer, and immediately could not walk on it so was put in a boot and given crutches to use. I'm not a big sweller or bruiser, so I had only a little swelling and mild bruising which made the doctor assume that it was a low grade sprain. A few weeks later I was in England visitng my family and I was still having extreme pain in it and even though I could walk by now, running was a big no no, and anything else that involved movement in my ankle. I had an MRI scan which showed I had torn my ATFL ligament, a low grade sprain in the Calcaneofibular ligament and fluid in the joint. The doctors in England told me they would repair the ATFL but I was flying back to the USA a week later so figured I would have the surgery here. However the doctor in the USA then said he definitely would not want to repair the ATFL (is this normal?) but he gave me a cortisone shot (which did nothing) and arranged to have my ankle scoped because at 15 weeks post injury I'm still having a lot of pain and movement problems.
I have the arthroscopy next week but I was wondering is the doctor going to just go in, clean it out and be done? or will he take a good look at the structures before he does anything? I'm worried I may have injured my peroneal tendons as I'm having a fair amount of pain in the back on the ankle rather than where the torn ligament is but I don't want to keep complaining about it and ask him about it because I don't want to look like a hypochondriac! I feel like I must have done more than just the torn ligament because surely I wouldnt still be having this much pain? And if there is something else needing to be done would he do it there and then?
Also what is is the recovery like from the ankle arthroscopy? Will I be able to walk around afterwards? I'm not too worried about the pain, but would it be possible to be up and about the next day or would I need to be staying in my bed?
Okay, so they diagnosed a ligament tear. If this tear hasn't healed on its own by this time, it probably should be repaired surgically. The surgeon could do this at the same time as the arthroscopy, whether he will I don't know.
If the surgeon just goes in, looks around and maybe removes scar tissue, you'll be on crutches just for a few days, and mostly recovered within a few weeks. I had exactly that procedure in March 2008, and I had a marvelous outcome. I did have to stay home and ice and elevate for a couple days, though, as it was very swollen at first.
However, if he does the ankle ligament repair, that can't be done arthroscopically, so he'll have to make a bigger incision. Also, you'll be on crutches in a boot or cast for several weeks, because the sewn-up ligament needs to heal and harden before you can walk.
About that pain behind the ankle: It could be peroneal tendonitis, or it could just be spasms in the peroneal muscles. I had a lot of trouble with that during my ankle war, because limping put abnormal strain on those muscles. Even though the problem came from the muscles, I felt it down in the ankle. Try massaging the outer side of the calf, along the fibula. See if that loosens it up any.
If not, do let the surgeon know before you go under. The peroneal tendon is in back of the ankle, and the traditional arthroscopy portals are in the front. It's tough to see that area from where they put the camera.