The ankle is subject to any number of injuries. Considering the continual stress placed on the joint, it is no wonder that sprains, strains and fractures occur. Many times people endure the pain felt when such an injury is experienced while continuing with their normal regimen not permitting the ankle to heal properly. Healing still takes place, but repeated episodes of injuries allow buildup of scar tissue. This scar tissue will cause residual damage, creating instability of the ankle joint as well as pain and swelling. Over time, the only resolution for the damage is surgery.
How is it done?
Reconstructive surgery is normally recommended when the instability and its ensuing problems become a chronic condition. The procedure utilizes both open arthrotomy and arthroscopy. A surgical incision is made near the center of the ankle to expose the malleolus, tibia and talus bones during open arthrotomy, leaving a small scar after reparation of the ligaments and tendons. Arthroscopy uses a small camera to reveal the interior of the ankle without need for any incision. The extent of damage expected will determine the type of surgery needed to repair it.
In some cases, ankle surgery may require the use of hardware, such as pins, to secure the ankle and reestablish stability. When severe damage has occurred that disrupts stability of the joint, ankle replacement surgery may become necessary to provide a return to normal ankle function.
It is not surprising that the ankle, a joint which endures daily stress through normal activity, can experience damage that may eventually require correction such as ankle reconstruction surgery. The procedure is common especially among athletes who place great stress on their ankle joints, but even daily activity can result in chronic problems. The good news is that in most cases, stability to the ankle is able to be restored in most individuals through surgical means.