What is Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction?

Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction
Lateral ankle ligament reconstruction is a surgery that is done to help tighten and/or firm up the ligaments in a person’s ankle. The ligaments in this area are often referred to as “stretchy bands” that keep the bones within a person’s foot and ankle connected. When a person has had multiple sprained ankle issues, this can cause the ligaments to loosen to the point that the “stretchy bands” no longer snap back. This can eventually result in their walking to become unstable as well as incredibly painful.

Lateral ankle ligament reconstructive surgery is typically done while under general anesthesia. The surgeon cuts the outside of the ankle and tightens the ligaments through this incision. Typically, lateral ankle ligament reconstruction is an outpatient surgery, which means those who have the ankle surgery are discharged the same day, after the surgery is completed.

Pain after the surgery is normal and should be expected. It is recommended that weight be kept off the ankle that the procedure was performed on. It is also suggested that the ankle be elevated to help prevent swelling or any infection. Those who have the lateral ankle ligament reconstruction will wear a splint or a boot after the surgery is completed. This helps to keep the ankle still to allow it to heal properly.

In some cases a cast is placed on the ankle. Crutches are also often used after the ankle surgery, to ensure the patient keeps from putting weight and pressure on the ankle while it heals. After the ankle has started to heal, the doctor may advise the patient to start physical therapy to help strengthen the muscles in the ankle, foot, and leg. This just helps to ensure that the surgery is a success.

As with any surgery or medical procedure, there are associated risks. With a lateral ankle ligament reconstruction surgery, these risks include:

  • nerve damage
  • infection
  • ankle joint stiffness
  • or even no improvement in the ankle

Before the decision to do a lateral ankle ligament reconstruction is made, doctors will often suggest or even require other options. These options typically include some type of physical therapy treatment as well as a special foot insert to wear in the shoe.

If these other treatment options do not help or provide significant improvement, a doctor will generally recommend for the lateral ankle ligament reconstruction surgery to be scheduled.

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POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!