We provide specialist care and expertise for a wide range of problems that can affect how well your ankle functions. Our orthopaedic surgeons are highly trained in treating common ankle conditions.

Ankle Orthopaedics

Orthopaedics Infoline

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I have a ankle condition, what are my next steps?

The ankle plays an important role in stabilising our body, but it is only designed to allow a limited range of motion. Acting like a hinge, it enables the foot to move up and down with a small amount of rotation. If the ankle is subjected to sudden movement outside of this range, or is suffering from a degenerative condition, it can cause severe pain and injury that is best treated by an orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist.

Common ankle conditions are frequently caused by misplaced activity, overuse or disease.  Twisting, tripping or falling can cause sprain, fracture and dislocation, and excess strain or sudden over exertion can lead to Achilles tendonitis. The ankle joint can also be affected by different forms of painful arthritis. An orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist can determine the exact cause of ankle pain by examining the complete structure as it relates to the foot.

Ankle pain is a common symptom for most people at some point in their lives. Depending on the cause and severity of the condition it can cause extreme pain, swelling, joint instability and stiffness. Some ankle pain is short term and can be relieved by icing, rest and pain relief. If the pain persists for longer or is a recurring issue, it is best to visit a healthcare professional.

At St Vincent’s Private Hospitals, our specialist orthopaedic ankle and foot surgeons are considered among Australia’s leading practitioners. We are committed to supporting patients at every step of their healthcare journey through surgical excellence, outstanding facilities and patient-centred care. 

orthopaedics knee model
  • Step 1


    See your GP about getting a referral for your specialist appointment at your nearest St Vincent’s Private Hospital.

  • Step 2


    Talk to our world-leading specialists about the most suitable treatment options available to support your needs.

  • Step 3


    Experience the streamlined care available from our team of experts as we help support you through your hospital admission, procedure and rehabilitation.

  • Step 4


    Our rehabilitation team will guide you each step of the way as you regain your strength and independence.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The ankle has an important job to do in supporting our bodyweight and keeping us stable, but this makes it vulnerable to accident and injury. Fortunately, there are many ankle conditions that can be resolved with surgery. Some of the most common surgical procedures are ankle ligament repair, ankle reconstruction surgery, ankle fracture repair and ankle replacements. Ankle arthroscopy is another common ankle procedure that can investigate, diagnose and treat in one minimally invasive operation.
Common ankle conditions are often a result of accident, injury, wear and tear or from disease such as arthritis. Twisting, tripping, or falling can cause sprains, fractures and dislocation of the ankle, that can affect both the bone and the soft tissue. Ankle problems can range in severity of condition and cause extreme pain, swelling, joint instability and stiffness, that limit mobility and impact daily activities.
The cost of ankle ligament surgery is dependent on a number of factors that will vary by patient. These include Medicare rebates, your level of private health insurance (if you have it) and the cost of your surgical team, which can differ between surgeons and hospitals. View treatment costs and common Medicare item codes.
Ankle ligament surgery is a procedure that is designed to treat chronic ankle instability and pain. This condition occurs when the ankle ligaments have been torn, stretched or ruptured and no longer work effectively. Ankle ligament surgery repairs and strengthens the ligaments either by stitching them back together, or by replacing the damaged tendon with a healthy one from another part of the body.
Ankle pain is a common symptom for most people at some point in their lives. Ankle sprains and ligament tears usually occur when you suddenly fall, or twist your foot awkwardly and can cause very painful symptoms such as:
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Inability to bear weight
  • A feeling of catching or locking
If conservative treatment options such as rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE), anti-inflammatory medications or physiotherapy are not working and you still experience ongoing ankle instability, talk to your doctor about seeing a foot and ankle orthopaedic specialist to discuss your options. If you suffer from repeated ankle sprains as a result of loosened ligaments that no longer support your ankle sufficiently, your doctor may suggest ankle ligament surgery or ankle reconstruction surgery to restore stability.
Any surgical procedure carries an element of complication. Your surgeon and orthopaedic care team will conduct a full assessment to determine your individual level of risk, and any appropriate action that may be required will be discussed with you at your consultation.
Ankle ligament surgery is appropriate for active, healthy patients who suffer from repeated ankle sprains and strains due to ankle instability. After imaging has confirmed the extent of the injury, your doctor will discuss with you the type of surgery to be performed. Ankle ligament surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure, after which your foot will be fitted with a splint or cast before moving on to a support boot. As mobility will be limited, it’s a good idea to make some preparations at home beforehand and organise someone to bring you home from hospital. You will be discharged with an individualised rehabilitation program and may be required to use a boot or splint for 6 weeks.
The recovery time looks different for each patient and will depend on your general health coming into the procedure and the extent of your ankle ligament surgery. Our multi-disciplinary teams will provide a personalised rehabilitation program before discharge, and after around 6 weeks in a boot, you will begin exercises to strengthen the ankle and within 4-6 months, should be back to normal activities.

Still have questions? Let us help you.