What is Ankle Ligament Reconstruction?
Ligament reconstruction is performed for ankle instability, most commonly of the lateral ligaments. The ligaments are tightened up, reattached and sometimes reinforced with an artificial ligament. Other procedures may be required depending on the damage to your ankle.
When is it Recommended?
During an ankle sprain the ligaments are damaged. Regardless of the severity, the majority of sprains heal without long term instability. Occasionally, despite adequate physiotherapy, instability persists causing frequent giving way. In this case reconstruction may be recommended.
What Does it Involve?
You may need to temporarily stop certain blood thinning or diabetic medications prior to surgery. You will be informed of this but if you are unsure of your requirements please ask.
The procedure is done under a general or regional anaesthetic. Following surgery you will be in a backslab cast. You will stay in hospital at least one night and go home when you are safe on crutches.
How Long is Recovery?
You will see Dr Freihaut 2 weeks following surgery for suture removal. You will then see the physiotherapist for a walking cast which will remain in place for a further 4 weeks. At that stage the cast will be changed to a CAM boot or ankle brace and you will commence physiotherapy to rehabilitate the ankle. Return to sport may be possible after 6 months. It may take up to 12 months to reach maximal improvement.
What are the Risks?
Risks include but are not limited to infection, blood clots, injury to nerves and blood vessels, wound breakdown, and persistent instability.