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If you have torn or over stretched the ligaments in your ankle you may suffer from chronic ankle instability. Repeated twisting or spraining can further increase instability. If conservative methods such as physiotherapy and bracing to not resolve this problem you may be a candidate for ankle ligament repair.

What happens during ankle ligament repair?

Ankle ligament repair is usually performed under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make an incision (cut) on the outside of your ankle. They may perform ankle arthroscopy to determine the level of damage in the area. Stretched or torn ligaments will be shorted and stitched or reattached as needed. Sometimes a repaired ligament is reinforced with a section of tendon. They will apply a plaster cast and you may have a drain in your wound.

After ankle ligament repair

You may be able to go home the same day or stay one night in hospital. Be sure and let a member of our Healthcare Team know if you are in any pain. You will not be able to bear weight on your foot for 10 - 14 days. Our physiotherapists will visit you and teach you how to move about using a walker or crutches.

Going home after ankle ligament repair

You will not be able to drive until released by your surgeon. Please arrange for someone to  drive you home following your surgery.

To control swelling keep your leg elevated as much as possible for the first 10 - 14 days.

You will need to return for a review of your wound and suture removal (if necessary). Your plaster cast will be replaced by lighter weight walking boot. After another week you will be encouraged to start partial weight bearing

You may be given exercises to help increase strength in your ankle. After 6 -10 weeks any boots or casts are usually replaced by an ankle brace. Over the next 6 weeks you may be able to increase your activity level while wearing the brace.

Be sure and discuss any return to work with your surgeon.

Most patients make a good recovery from ankle ligament repair. Any surgical procedure can result in complications:

Specific complications of ankle ligament repair:

  • Swelling
  • Recurrent instability
  • Stiffness
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