Ankle ligament reconstruction or ALR, is a surgery used to treat sprains and to return normal stability to the ankle. It is also used to eliminate the feeling of your ankle giving away and any pain associated with an unstable ankle.
Reasons to Undergo the Surgery
Ligaments connect different bones together. If the ligaments on the outer side the ankles sustain any injury, they can become weak. These ligaments won’t necessarily become weak from one injury, but repeated trauma can affect the ankle structure and make it unstable over time.
Ankles can also become unstable due to deformities in the feet. The condition is referred to as chronic ankle instability. If your ankle is unstable, you can sustain even more injuries on a regular basis. It can twist or bend while you are walking, standing, or performing any activity. The condition can also cause a lot of pain that requires some form of treatment.
If nonsurgical treatment fails to make the ankle stable, you might need to opt for an ankle ligament reconstruction surgery to make it functional again.
ALR is performed with the use of general anesthesia. You will also have the option to opt for local anesthesia with ALR, but will have to be discussed with your surgeon.
Your doctor will access the ligaments through a tiny cut outside the ankle. He may analyze the ankle area with the help of arthroscopy or other tests to determine the extent of the problem prior to the surgery.
Through the incision, the doctor can work on the tissue that needs to be treated. The tissues to be treated will be in the injured or problematic ligament and requires extreme precision and attention to detail. After the repair is done, the incision will be closed with stitches.
Before the procedure, you will need to take a few precautions. Your doctor will ask you to stop the use of some medications such as pain relievers. Some medication can thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding during the surgery and even cause excessive bruising during your recovery period.
If you smoke, you will also be advised to stop in the weeks leading up to the surgery and a few weeks after to help facilitate a speedy recovery.
After the Surgery
You can go home soon after the surgery is completed, but your foot will need to be in plaster for at least two weeks. You won’t be able to walk normally or place excess weight on the ankle for a month or two.
You might also need to use a brace for a while to support the ankle. These steps are often necessary to ensure a fast recovery and optimal results after your surgery is complete.
Once the swelling subsides, the ankle area will begin to show signs of healing. You will notice an increase in ankle strength and stability. Physical therapy is a necessary component to the recovery process. You will experience some discomfort, but your doctor can proscribe pain medication to help ease it way.
Contact Our Office
You should not let an unstable ankle go untreated. If you feel as if your ankle is weak, unstable, or uncomfortable, you will need to schedule an appointment with Advanced Spine and Orthopedics to find out if you will be a good candidate for an ALR surgery.