Ankle ligament reconstruction surgery is usually carried out to treat sprains and instability.
This type of surgery is usually carried out as a day case procedure where you will be given a general anaesthetic along with an injection around the ankle so that it’s numb and pain-free after surgery.
In some cases, the surgeon will first carry out ankle arthroscopy to inspect the joint before repairing the ligament. The procedure itself involves one incision (cut) on the outside of the ankle to allow the surgeon to locate the scar tissue from the torn ligament near the fibula bone, and carry out a repair with stitches to the bone.
Immediately after surgery:
During the first few weeks:
Everyone is different, so healing and post-operative programmes vary from person to person. However, the schedule of follow-up appointments below is typical:
This will depend on the type of procedure you have had, and you may be offered a type of boot or brace to keep your ankle still while it heals. However, the appointments below are a guide to your visit schedule:
Your specialist will be able to refer you to a physiotherapist who can give you a personalised rehabilitation programme to help you to walk normally and reduce swelling and tightness in the muscles.
It’s important to keep the plaster cast totally dry. However, you will be able to shower with a waterproof cover over the plaster or boot. Once the plaster is removed you can shower as normal if the wound is healed, but gently dab it dry. Take extra care of the ankle when you are not wearing the boot to avoid further injuries.
Once out of cast, don’t pull at scabs but let them fall away naturally. If your wound becomes red, swollen or sore you should contact the Fortius Clinic and arrange to see your consultant to check you don’t have an infection.
The DVLA states that it’s the responsibility of the driver to ensure they are always in control of the vehicle. A good guide is if you can stamp down hard with the foot to stop the car during an emergency stop. This will normally take at least six weeks.
Although your specialist will advise you about when it’s safe to start driving again, it remains your responsibility to drive safely and you should also check with your vehicle insurer to confirm you are covered.
This depends on the type of work you do and how quickly you recover. As a general guide, if your job involves sitting down for most of the time you should be able to return to work after two weeks; if it involves manual work, you may need to have between eight and 10 weeks off.
Once the wound has healed, and provided that you follow your rehabilitation programme (which can take around three months), most people are able to return to a good level of activity and sports within four to six months, with continued improvement for up to a year. In 95% of people, ligament reconstructions are extremely successful, although you may have mild swelling in your ankle for up to a year after the procedure.
Below is a guide to the risks of this type of surgery. However, your surgeon will discuss these with you before your procedure, and answer any questions you may have:
Important: This information is only a guideline to help you understand your treatment and what to expect. Everyone is different and your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other people’s. Please contact us for advice if you’re worried about any aspect of your health or recovery