Lateral Ankle Repair
What is lateral Ankle Instability?
Chronic ankle instability is the result of repeated mild to moderate ankle sprains or may be the result of one severe ankle sprain. The ankle may feel weak, may repeatedly sprain or “give way”. The lateral (outside) ankle ligaments are more prone to injury that then medial (inside) ligaments, which are much stronger. Approximately 10-20 percent of people that have an ankle sprain will develop chronic lateral ankle instability.
Can it be corrected surgically?
In many cases yes. The aim of this surgery is to restore normal stability to the ankle. Consequently, this will resolve the pain that is associated with an unstable ankle and the feeling of the ankle “giving way”.
When should you consider lateral ankle ligament surgery?
Surgery may be advised if non-surgical treatment options do not relieve the instability, discomfort
There are several different techniques that can be performed. The most commonly performed technique involves making an incision over the outside of the ankle. The ankle ligaments are identified and then tightened, using stitches or anchors that are placed into one of the bones of the ankle.
Can it be done as a day case operation?
Surgery is usually performed as a day case, provided that you are medically fit, and have someone who can collect you and look after you after the operation.
If you have medical problems, for
Post operative recovery
You will be in a cast or splint for a minimum of two weeks following surgery.
How soon can I…
Go back to work?
This depends on what you do and how you get to work. If you have an office job that allows you to elevate your foot for the majority of the day, you could perhaps return to work after one week. On the other hand, if you have a heavy manual job you may be off work for up to three months. If you need to drive to work, this can also affect when you can go back. It also depends on which ankle is being operated on. Your podiatric surgeon will advise you further.
Once you are back
Once you are wearing normal footwear you can start gently exercising your foot and
Can there be complications?
Ankle ligament repair surgery is very effective in the vast majority of patients. Although it is unlikely, there are complications that can arise following surgery. These can include:
- Infection: Antibiotics are given before and after surgery to reduce the chances of infection however it can still occur.
- Nerve injury: Minor damage to the nerves can occur as a result of small sensory nerves being caught in scar tissue. It may cause an area of numbness or sensitivity around the incision that extends to the top of the foot. This occurs in up to 20 percent of cases and can range from increased sensitivity to complete loss of sensation.
- Wound healing difficulties: Problems with wound healing are rare and tend to occur primarily
withpatients with diabetes and smokers. If you do smoke, it is recommended that you stop smoking at least four weeks prior to surgery.