Lateral ligament reconstruction

Lateral ligament reconstructions are indicated in patients who have noted instability or who experience recurrent ankle sprains. The goal of the surgery is to restore normal stability in the ankle and should stop the patients ankle “giving way”.

Surgery is generally indicated if patients have failed with all other nonsurgical management for a period of approximately 6 months. Normally performed as a day case patients can expect a bulky dressing for a period of ten days and an air cast boot for six weeks. They should raise their legs as much as possible for the first 10-14 days and should undergo daily exercises to prevent muscle wastage and severe ankle stiffness.

The surgeon makes a J shaped incision on the outside of the patient’s ankle and their ruptured ankle ligaments are identified if possible. The modified Bröstrom is the most commonly performed surgical technique and involves making the available tissues stronger using reinforced sutures. The repair can then be made stronger by using specially designed darts to anchor the repair to the fibula, calcaneus or talus where needed.