Ankle sprains are a common foot injury for people of all ages, occurring to the ligaments on the outer side. This may affect the lateral calcaneofibular, anterior and posterior talofibular, or/and the anterior and posterior tibiofibular ligaments in the ankle.
The signs of a sprained ankle usually include swelling, pain and limited range of ankle movement. Injuries to the ankle can be painful and debilitating.
When Do Ankle Ligaments Need Surgery?
Should you experience persistent ankle instability even after physical rehabilitation, your doctor may suggest an ankle ligament reconstruction surgery to prevent further damage.
During this procedure, the surgeon will usually put you under general anaesthesia prior to the surgery. Following that, he will proceed to make a small incision through the skin and muscle of your ankle. The surgeon may either shorten your ligament, remove them and re-attach your ankle using stitches. In some cases, the repair may involve a replacement with a tissue graft taken from other ligaments around your foot area.
Take note that after the surgery, you may require the support of crutches for several weeks. Recovery time will vary depending on the complexity of your ankle injury and individual physical condition.
Book an Appointment Today with Your Foot and Ankle Specialist
Apart from your ligaments in the ankle joint, keep in mind that the pain could also be caused by a damaged cartilage. If you are experiencing ankle pain and instability, it is important to know if it is a ligament or cartilage injury. Our professional team of orthopaedic specialists can help you determine if surgery is appropriate for you and provide recommendations on how to manage your symptoms in the meantime. Get back on your feet with Orthofoot MD and book an appointment with Dr Gowreeson today.
Frequently Asked Questions about Ankle Ligament Surgery
1. How do I know if my ankle ligaments are torn?
Symptoms of a torn ankle ligament will usually include:
- Hearing or feeling a pop at the time of injury
- Bruising and swelling around your heel and/or toe area
- Pain and/or difficulty putting weight on your ankle
Depending on the severity of your torn ligament, you might need ankle ligament reconstruction surgery to restore the stability in your ankle.
2. Can you walk with a torn ligament?
You may still be able to walk but not without experiencing pain. That being said, this is not advisable as it will prolong recovery.
3. What happens if a torn ligament in the ankle goes untreated?
Without timely treatment, you are more likely to experience chronic pain and instability in your ankle. This could lead to further tearing of the ligaments, which would require surgery before you can fully recover from this injury. An untreated ankle ligament tear may also leave you susceptible to more injuries in the long run.
Dr Gowreeson Thevendran is currently an orthopaedic surgeon with Island Orthopaedic, a one-stop care centre for orthopaedic health under Healthway Medical Group. He specialises in treating lower limb orthopaedic conditions, as well as trauma and fracture surgery of both the upper and lower limbs. Prior to establishing his private practice, Dr Gowreeson was Chief of Foot & Ankle Surgery at the Department of Orthopaedics at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). Today, he continues to serve the Orthopaedic Department at TTSH as a visiting consultant.