What Are Some Important Things to Know About Ankle Ligament Reconstruction Surgery?


Quick Answer

Ankle ligament reconstruction is necessary for patients experiencing ankle instability that is not responding to nonsurgical modes of treatment, especially if symptoms are present longer than six months, says the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. Ankle ligament reconstruction is usually an outpatient surgery with regional or general anesthesia. The surgeon may repair the area by reinforcing the ligaments with stitches, or he may use tendons to replace the torn ligaments.

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Full Answer

The most common form of ankle ligament reconstruction is the modified Brostrom procedure, in which the surgeon strengthens the ligaments with stitches or anchors placed on one of the bones of the ankle, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. To replace the ligaments with tendons, the surgeon may use the patient's hamstring tendon or a tendon from a cadaver. He weaves the tendon into the ankle bones and secures it with stitches or a bone screw.

Possible complications with any surgical procedure include an adverse reaction to anesthesia, damage to the nerves or blood vessels, infection, blood clots or excessive bleeding, reports the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. Patients recovering from ankle ligament reconstruction commonly report decreased sensation around the incision that may extend to the top of the foot. Less common problems include infection, slow healing of the wound or blood clots within the veins of the leg.

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