Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction
One of the most common sports injuries, ankle sprains, range in severity. In some cases the lateral ligaments stretch while in more severe cases the lateral ligaments tear partially or completely. Having a sprained ankle feels painful and unstable. Doctors typically try conservative treatment while treating stretched or partially torn sprained ankles, but resort to surgery in cases of complete or severe tears.
diagnoses of a lateral ankle ligament reconstruction
To diagnose a sprained ankle, a physician orders diagnostic testing and performs a physical exam. The diagnostic testing consists of an XRAY and potentially an MRI depending on the severity of the injury. If the ankle does not obviously need surgery, the foot and ankle specialist opts for conservative treatment. Conservative treatment typically lasts 6 months and consists of rest, physical therapy, ice, elevation, and potentially injections. If conservative treatment does not work, the physician performs surgery. The surgical approach depends on any other diagnosis’s made.
Surgical approach to treating a lateral ankle ligament tear
Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction has multiple approaches dependent on the patient’s injury and the treating foot and ankle surgeon. Do not confuse with a posterior tibial tendon repair. Doctors perform Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction under general anesthesia. Part of the surgery may be completed arthroscopically with the majority of the surgery through a larger incision. The specific technique may vary depending on the surgeon but many surgeons prefer the modified Brostrom procedure to reconstruct a lateral ankle ligament. During the modified Brostrom procedure, the surgeon makes a C or J shaped incision on the outside portion of the ankle. Using stitches or anchors, the surgeon tightens the stretched or torn ligaments. The surgeon places these stitches or anchors into the fibula bone, the bone lateral to the shin bone. In the cases that the surgeon cannot repair the ligaments, the surgeon uses tendons to replace them. A few options exist for this method; Allograft tendon, Autograft tendon, or Hamstring tendon. The surgeon weaves the chosen tendon into the bones surrounding the ankle and uses stitches or a screw to hold the tendon into place in the bone.
Recovery from a lateral ankle ligament reconstruction
Following a lateral ankle ligament reconstruction, the patient typically returns home from the hospital on the same day as admittance. The patient wears a brace or cast for at least two weeks, but the treating physician determines this duration of time. Weight may not be placed on the ankle up to six weeks in many circumstances and physical therapy often begins around the six week mark.
Ankle pain? Call 817-375-5200 or click here to schedule an appointment and let AOA Orthopedic Specialists help get you back on your feet!