Ankle Ligament Reconstruction Surgery

This procedure is generally performed as a day case operation. You will be coming to the day case reception lounge on the day of operation. You will be checked into preoperative lounge and will be met by the surgeon and the anaesthetist who will go through all the benefits and risks of the surgery again. Surgery is performed under general anesthetic, usually as a day case.Surgery is performed under general anesthetic. The stay is usually one night. The procedure takes 60-90 minutes.


A 6cm incision is then made over the damaged ligament(s). The ligaments are assessed and then they are cut to allow them to be shortened and put back into a normal position at their normal tension. This is achieved by using a special device that anchors into a drill hole in the bone. The skin is then stitched and a below knee back slab applied.


All surgery carries potential risks. The risks are minimized by having the surgery meticulously performed by an expert in foot and ankle surgery. Risks include

  • Infection - approximately 2% risk in our unit
  • .
  • Blood clots (thrombosis) – You will be put on Low molecular weight Heparin prophylaxis to reduce the risk of blood clots in calf, thigh or rarely in lungs.
  • Numbness - can occur over the outer border of the foot, and usually improves over time
  • Pain and swelling - This can occur after any foot and ankle surgery. You have to keep the limb elevated for 48 hours to avoid swelling and you will be given pain killers.
  • Stiffness - this improves over time and helped by physiotherapy
  • Scar sensitivity - can be improved with scar massage
  • Re-rupture

Discharge advice Ankle Ligament Reconstruction Surgery


You will be in an aircastboot for 6 weeks following surgery.


It is very important that you rest as much as possible and keep your foot elevated for the first 48 hours after surgery. Try to avoid letting it hang down when sitting as this will lead to swelling and pain. This is most apparent within the first 2 weeks but swelling may occur for up to 6 months after surgery, especially after sitting or standing for long periods. In bed, put the foot on a pillow.


You will receive a prescription for pain medication on discharge. Pain is often due to swelling, and this is eased by rest and elevation of the foot.


You will need to walk without putting any weight on the foot for 2 weeks. A physiotherapist will show you how to use crutches After this you will then be able to walk in the boot during the day and put all your weight on it for further four. You can take the boot off at night.


You will be seen approximately 2 weeks when sutures will be removed.. You will be seen again 4 weeks later and if all is well will be referred to the physiotherapists and you can discard the boot. You will be seen at 3 months for a final check.

Driving and work

You should not drive a car for 6 weeks following surgery. After this you should start gradually, to see if you are comfortable. It normally takes a few days to feel confident.

If you have an office-based job, then it may be possible for you to return after 2 weeks however it is more advisable to return after 6 weeks. If you have a more physical job, then it may take 8-12 weeks.


It often takes 6 months for all swelling to resolve and so minor swelling late in the day is not unusual and should not be a cause for concern. It will take 6 months to return to full sporting activity.