Suture Button Ankle Surgery
What is suture button ankle surgery?
Suture button ankle surgery is a medical procedure that uses a flexible cord implant instead of fixed screws to repair damage to the syndesmosis joint, or high ankle. This important set of ligaments keep the ankle joint strong and stable, but they can be seriously injured by sudden twisting or rotational movements, such as those caused by car accidents or high-energy sports like skiing or football. If the ankle bones separate through this type of injury, it can cause painful symptoms including swelling and weakness in the joint.
Your doctor may recommend suture button surgery as a way to restore strength and stability. During surgery, the tibia and fibula bones are realigned, and a special type of polyethylene cord is used to hold the joint in place. In the past, this has been achieved using fixed screws that would then have to be surgically removed at a later date. The suture button technology avoids any complications that can sometimes happen with screw fixation.
General recovery times
After surgery, your foot is likely to be immobilised in a splint, before moving into a special orthopaedic boot for 2 weeks. Before leaving hospital, you will be given an individualised rehabilitation program with advice on weight-bearing, exercises and a return to daily activities. Most patients can start weight bearing after 2 weeks and physiotherapy is recommended for the first few months to improve strength and mobility. After 12 weeks, higher impact exercises can begin and for the first 6 months after surgery it is recommended to wear an ankle brace during sporting activities. Suture button ankle surgery is considered very successful and has many advantages:
- The flexible implant allows a natural joint movement.
- Less risk of pain from hardware implants.
- No second surgery required to remove screws.
- Allows earlier weight bearing and return to daily activities and sport.
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.