• Ankle Reconstruction: The Top 5 Questions You Need Answered

    The feet and ankles are the foundation of the body, which means that instability in the ankle may cause significant problems in your life. If you have ankle pain or instability that interferes with your daily routine by preventing you from walking comfortably, ankle reconstruction surgery may be a treatment option that you consider. During surgery, torn or otherwise damaged connective tissues will be repaired to restore stability in the ankle joint while relieving pain and discomfort.

    Why do I need surgery?

    Patients who undergo ankle reconstruction surgery may have chronic pain in the foot or ankle, numbness in the foot, difficulty walking, limited range of motion, or instability that cause the ankle to “give out” while walking or standing. To pinpoint the exact source of these symptoms and explore whether surgery is an option, your orthopaedic may recommend diagnostic arthroscopy, which is a minimally invasive procedure that will show where damage exists in the complex ankle joint.

    Am I a good candidate for surgery?

    Aside from symptoms, your doctor will assess your need for surgery based on your current physical health and your history of treatment to manage ankle pain. If non-surgical care has not provided any relief after six months, surgery may be the best line of treatment to offer long-term relief.

    What happens during surgery?

    Ankle reconstruction surgery focuses on the reconstruction of torn ligaments that allow the ankle to move and flex. Surgery may be performed under general or local anesthesia, and it typically utilizes a patient’s own tissues from existing ligaments or tendons to repair the damaged structure. After surgery, you will wear a cast or splint for at least two weeks, followed by a walking boot worn during recovery.

    Are there surgical risks?

    Any surgery will have risks such as infection or blood clots. Risks specific to ankle reconstruction include loss of sensation near the site of the incision and delayed wound healing. Your surgeon will work with you to minimize these risks and ensure a complete recovery free of complications.

    What are the chances of re-injury after surgery?

    Most patients who undergo ankle reconstruction have suffered multiple sprains or other ankle injuries, and the likelihood for these injuries does tend to go down after surgery. About 90% of patients who have surgery report a good or excellent outcome without secondary ligament injuries.

    If you have ankle or foot pain, you do not have to live with the discomfort. Dr. Joe George and Dr. Aaron Kim at MK Orthopaedics can provide relief with personalized care that may include surgery, physical therapy, and non-surgical care. To learn more about our services in Joliet, call (815) 741-6900, or visit our website for a look at some patient testimonials .