Ankle Reconstruction Surgery
What is ankle reconstruction surgery?
If you are suffering from repeated ankle sprains, ankle instability and painful symptoms, your doctor may recommend ankle reconstruction surgery to restore strength and function to your ankle joint. There are two main ankle ligaments that support the joint: the anterior talofibular ligament and the calcaneofibular ligament. Frequent injury can stretch and loosen the ligaments so that they no longer work effectively in supporting the ankle joint. Ankle reconstruction surgery usually begins arthroscopically to examine the extent of the damage and remove any scar damage or inflamed tissue.
The ligaments can be repaired either by stitching the torn ligaments back together, or by cutting and reattaching the loosened ligaments to restore tension. If one of the ligaments is beyond repair, your doctor may graft a tendon from another part of your body as a replacement. Depending on the severity of the ankle instability, either one or both major ligaments may need reconstruction.
General recovery times
After ankle reconstruction surgery, your ankle will be placed in a splint straight after the operation and you are likely to be discharged the same day. Keep your foot elevated as much as possible to allow the swelling to go down and to help with pain. Allow for some time off work while it is difficult to get around – for office jobs this period will be at least 2 weeks, and for more physical work it could be up to 6 weeks.
After ankle reconstruction surgery, your foot will be placed in a cast or moonboot for 2 to 6 weeks. At this point you should be able to start bearing weight. After 6 weeks, your doctor is likely to clear you for driving and you should be able to transition into normal footwear. After 12 weeks, you will continue to see improvements and a gradual return to activity levels over the coming months. Talk to your doctor about returning to sports.
Other ankle surgeries and procedures
Common ankle conditions
How much will my ankle surgery cost?
Understanding the cost of your treatment is an important consideration before committing to surgery, but it’s not always easy to find the information you need. Learn more about the factors which contribute to the cost of your surgery:
What will my treatment and recovery look like?
Familiarising yourself with your treatment program and understanding the recovery process are important steps to take on the pathway to surgery.