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Arthroscopic Debridement/Loose Body Removal
Dr. James Chen, M.D. - In San Francisco, CA



Dr. Chen’s surgical technique for ankle arthroscopy:


An arthroscopic procedure performed to remove soft tissue flaps, inflamed tissue, and loose calcifications often related to arthritis. Two to four small incisions are made around the ankle. An arthroscopic camera and instruments are used to inspect the joint. Inflamed tissues, cartilage flaps, and any loose calcifications are removed.

Common Questions about Arthroscopic Debridement/Loose Body Removal

What are loose bodies?

Loose bodies are pieces of cartilage or bone that can break off from the body and float around causing damage to the joint. In some cases, they can become stuck in joints causing pain and clicking noises. In other cases, they may cause the joint to become locked.

What does the surgical process entail?

Two small incisions are made on the ankle and a fiber optic camera is used to find and remove the loose body via a suction tube.

What is the recovery process like?

Patients can expect to have limited ambulatory movement 1-2 weeks after the surgery. During or after this time, patients may start on physical therapy exercises at home depending doctor recommendation. After 4-6 weeks, patients can return to normal activity. Patients start attending physical therapy when instructed by their physician and continue for the duration of their recovery process.

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