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Your subtalar joint sits just below your ankle joint. Where your ankle joint only allows for up and down movement, your subtalar joint allows your foot to move in circulator rotations and side to side making walking on uneven surfaces possible.

What happens during subtalar arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is very often performed as a day case with the patient under general anaesthetic. Sometimes it is performed using local anaesthetic and light sedation. The procedure usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes. 

Your surgeon will make several small incisions (cuts) in your ankle. They will insert a tiny camera through one of the incisions to examine any problems in the area. They will insert other instruments to wash out any loose material caused by wear and tear of the joint surfaces and remove any bone spurs or swelling of the lining of your ankle joint. They may be able to make small repairs to torn cartilage through the small incisions. Your surgeon will close the incisions with stitches or steri-strips. Your ankle may be bandaged.

Going home after subtalar arthroscopy

You should be able to go home the day of your arthroscopy. You will not be able to drive so be sure and arrange for someone to take you home. You may not be able to bear weight on your foot for several days following your procedure. Please remember to discuss this restriction with your surgeon. 

Your ankle may be swollen for several weeks. Painkillers may help ease the pain in the first few weeks. 

A physiotherapist will show you exercises to help you regain your muscle strength and get moving again. 

You should keep the area clean and dry until your incisions are well healed. You will need to return to have your stitches removed 10-14 days after your procedure. 

Everyone heals at a different pace. Your surgeon or physiotherapist will advise you about when you can return to normal activities. You will be able to drive again when you can make an emergency stop without damaging your ankle. Please discuss your return to driving and to work with your surgeon. 

Depending on what repairs are made during your arthoroscopy most patients return can return to strenuous activity and heavy lifting six to eight weeks after surgery.

What are the complications of subtalar arthroscopy?

Any surgical procedure may result in complications. These could include:

General complications:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Scarring
  • Blood clots

Specific complications in subtalar arthroscopy may include:

  • Damage to nerves
  • Infection in the joint
  • Bleeding in the joint causing pain and swelling
  • Complex regional pain syndrome - a condition that causes long-term (chronic) burning pain in one of the limbs.
Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment
Bournemouth  

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
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Brentwood  

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good
Brighton  

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Good
Bristol  

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good
Cambridge  

4 Trumpington Road, Cambridge, CB2 8AF

01223 370 922
Overall rating Outstanding
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavey Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Cheltenham  

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 6SY

01242 246 552
Overall rating Good
Chester  

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Exeter  

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 262110
Overall rating Good
Glasgow  

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

01413349441
Haywards Heath  

Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD

01444 456999
Overall rating Good
Hereford  

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding
Leicester  

Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

Enquiries 0300 1311416
Overall rating Good
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 625431
Overall rating Good
Oxford  

Beech Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7RP

01865 307777
Overall rating Good
Plymouth  

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775861
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Shrewsbury  

Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282628
Overall rating Good
Taunton  

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286991
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 367439
Overall rating Outstanding
Warwickshire  

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 427971
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good

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