Walking is one of the most common physical activities. Because walking is so routine, people rarely consider the muscles, joints, and ligaments that make walking possible. The ankle in particular provides necessary support as a person walks. This is all too evident when an ankle injury occurs.
Most ankle injuries heal on their own. However, a prolonged injury, or recurrent injuries, could lead to loose ligaments and the need for ankle ligament surgery at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin. Ankle surgery repairs injuries within the bones, joints, or ligaments of the ankle to restore comfort and mobility for our Austin, TX , patients.
Ankle sprains are one of the most common forms of ankle injuries. When an ankle is sprained, the ligaments on the outside of the ankle may become stretched or partially torn. As ankle sprains heal, those ligaments should tighten back up. However, if an injury is not allowed to heal properly, or if someone repeatedly sprains the ankle, those ligaments may not tighten back up as intended. Over time, loose ligaments fail to provide necessary support and stability. Loose ankle ligaments may result in:
- Pain or discomfort
- Chronic ankle instability
- Repeated ankle sprains
- The frequent feeling of the ankle "giving out" during physical activities
At Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, our doctors believe in a minimally invasive approach to injury care. When loose ligaments are a concern, we will attempt to address the issue with treatments such as ankle supports, shoe inserts, and physical therapy. If all other methods prove ineffective, patients may be ideal candidates for ankle ligament surgery.
Our doctors use minimally invasive surgical techniques to make ankle ligament surgery as safe as possible for our Austin patients. We will also use general or regional anesthesia to keep patients completely comfortable throughout treatment.
During the procedure, a small incision will be made along the outside of the ankle. Through this incision, the surgeon will insert a long, thin surgical instrument that is fitted with a camera so that we have a clear view of the surgical site. The doctor will make necessary cuts and repairs to tighten ankle ligaments so that they provide the support needed. When all repairs have been made, the surgical incision will be closed.
Ankle ligament surgery is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, which means that the patient usually returns home on the day of surgery. The ankle will be placed in a splint so that it has support as the body heals from surgery. Patients can expect to experience some pain and inflammation as they recover, though these symptoms should dissipate within about a week.
It will take some time before patients can resume their normal physical activities. It is important to keep weight off the ankle for a few weeks. It will likely be necessary to wear an ankle brace for several months. Ankle ligament surgery recovery can be lengthy, but once the ankle heals, patients will benefit from improved comfort and movement.
At Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, our doctors offer a wide range of services to treat back, neck, foot, and ankle injuries. If you would like more information about our treatments, send us a message at your earliest convenience or call (512) 476-2830 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced doctors.