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Ankle Sprain | Ankle Ligament Reconstruction | Orthopaedics SA

Ankle Ligament Reconstruction

At Orthopaedics SA, we provide high-quality care for all of your musculoskeletal needs, including ankle ligament reconstruction surgery, a medical procedure that is used to treat ankle sprains and instability.

Ankle ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect the bones in the ankle and provide stability to the joint. Ankle ligament injuries are common among athletes and can result in ankle instability, pain, swelling, and a limited range of motion.

In some cases, the ligaments can be repaired using non-surgical methods such as immobilisation and physical therapy. However, when the damage to the ligaments is severe, surgery may be required to restore the stability of the ankle joint. During the surgery, the damaged ligament(s) may be repaired by stitching them back together or by using a tendon graft to replace the damaged tissue. The surgeon may also use screws, plates, or other devices to hold the ankle joint in place while the ligaments heal.

After the surgery, the patient will typically need to wear a cast or a brace for several weeks to protect the ankle and allow it to heal properly. Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises will also be required to help restore strength, flexibility, and function to the ankle joint. The recovery time can vary depending on the extent of the injury and the type of surgery performed, but most patients can expect to return to their normal activities within a few months.

Ankle ligament reconstruction is a surgical procedure that aims to stabilise the ankle and prevent it from giving way. The surgery may involve repairing the existing ligament with stitches or using a tendon to replace torn ligaments. It is usually recommended when other non-surgical treatments, such as physiotherapy, have not been effective.

Ankle ligament injuries are common and can be caused by a variety of factors. They are often the result of an awkward twist or turn of the ankle, causing the ligament to stretch or tear. High-impact sports, such as rugby or soccer, can also lead to ankle ligament injuries. Additionally, weak ankle muscles or ligaments, previous ankle injuries, and improper footwear can increase the risk of ankle sprains.

If you are experiencing a severe ankle ligament tear or instability, ankle ligament reconstruction may be necessary. Common symptoms of an ankle sprain include pain, swelling, and bruising. You may also experience a feeling of your ankle “catching” or locking, a lack of ankle stability, and possible ankle dislocation or osteochondral injury (defect in the cartilage at the tip of the bones).

Before considering surgery, non-surgical treatments such as physiotherapy, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) may be recommended to alleviate pain and swelling. Your doctor may also recommend the use of ankle braces, moon boots or casts to stabilise the ankle and prevent further injury.

If non-surgical treatments are not effective, your doctor may recommend ankle ligament reconstruction surgery. The procedure is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under general anaesthesia. The surgeon may conduct an arthroscopic examination of the ligament prior to making a larger incision near the ligament.

Recovery from ankle ligament surgery typically involves wearing a cast or splint for at least two weeks, followed by a support boot.

While many patients can return to work five to six weeks after their operation, patients should refrain from higher-impact exercises until ten to twelve weeks post-surgery. Driving a manual car may be possible at this point, but you should check with your surgeon and car insurance company first.

Patients can usually walk normally and resume high-impact sports activities twelve weeks after surgery. Some patients may also be able to wear heeled shoes but should be aware that wearing higher heels for extended periods can lead to foot damage.

At Orthopaedics SA, we are committed to providing you with personalised care and treatment options that best suit your individual needs. If you are experiencing ankle pain or instability, contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced orthopaedic specialists. We will work with you to determine the best course of treatment to get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

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