Lateral ankle reconstruction is a surgery to tighten up one or more ankle ligaments on the outside of your ankle. It is sometimes known as the Brostrom procedure. It is an outpatient surgery, and the patients are released on the same day.

Your ankle is a hinge joint that facilitates motion up and down and from side to side. Your foot and ankle consist of several ligaments. Ligaments are band-like solid structures that keep the bones in your feet and ankles tightly connected. You have many ligaments on the outer side of your foot, including the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) and the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL). These help to keep our feet steady 

Repeated ankle sprains and certain foot deformities can make your ligaments lose and weak, which makes your ankle unstable.

When do you require a lateral ankle ligament reconstruction?

You might need a lateral ankle ligament surgery if one or more ligaments on the outside of the ankle are stretched or loosened. It leads to a condition called chronic ankle instability. It causes chronic pain, repeated ankle pain, and an ankle that gives away when you walk or perform certain activities. 

An ankle sprain may partially tear or stretch your ankle ligaments. If this sprain is not treated immediately, this can lead to other sprains. More ankle sprain may loosen your ligaments even more.

Specific problems with your ankle can make you more likely to develop an unstable ankle, such as:

  • Plantar flexion of the first ray
  • Hindfoot varus
  • Midfoot cavus 
  • Ehlers Danlos- the general looseness of your ligaments

Other symptoms primarily include pain, swelling, and bruising. In addition, there is a lack of stability in your ankle, causing it to give away.

What happens during the surgery?

The surgery usually takes two or more hours. You will probably receive general anaesthesia to make you sleep through the surgical procedure or regional anaesthesia to numb the involved leg. The vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure are monitored closely throughout the surgery. After cleaning the affected area, the surgeon cuts through the skin and muscle of your ankle and slips a tiny camera through the incision to complete the procedure.

Your surgeon may remove your ATFL or CFL ankle ligaments from where they attach to your fibula and then rejoin these ligaments to your fibula with the help of small new holes that are drilled into your bone. If more repairs are required, your surgeon will perform them. The skin and muscle layers around your ankle will be surgically closed.

Risks involved in lateral ankle ligament reconstruction

Risks for this surgery include-

  • Nerve damage
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blood clotting
  • Stiffness in your ankle joint
  • Complications from anaesthesia 
  • No improvement in your ankle stability 

The risk of surgery complications depends on your age and your general health conditions. In case of any complications, consult your doctor immediately. 

Call us today for a consultation. Our very own specialist, Dr Anuj Chawla is at your service to assist you.