As knowledge in foot and ankle conditions progresses, physicians have realized that many people do not return to normal function after an ankle injury. This has been termed chronic ankle dysfunction.

There can be many possible causes, which can include:

  1. Improper rehabilitation
  2. The development of ankle impingement from ligament injury
  3. Instability or a ‘loose’ ankle
  4. Talus osteochondral (cartilage lesions)
  5. Other occult injuries

Effective treatment for many of these underlying causes of chronic ankle dysfunction is available. Addressing these conditions can also frequently be done through keyhole or arthroscopic procedures that allow a quick recovery.

Arthroscopy showing an area of cartilage injury in the talus after a prior ankle injury.

Arthroscopy for ankle impingement

Ankle impingement refers to a clinical syndrome when there is persistent pain in the front (anterior ankle impingement) or back (posterior ankle impingement or Os Trigonum syndrome) typically after a preceding ankle injury. Once a careful examination to confirm ankle impingement is done, a very effective form of treatment is arthroscopic or keyhole therapy for the impingement.

Anterior bony impingement (bony spurs).
Arthroscopy for spurs (note the bony spur).
View after removal of spur.
Arthroscopy for soft tissue impingement causing chronic ankle pain. This is associated with excellent results.