Ankle Stabilisation

Ankle stabilisation is a procedure to make an unstable ankle that keeps giving way more stable. The Brostrom operation is the commonest operation with fewer side effects. It is a repair of damaged ligaments on the outer (“lateral”) side of the ankle.

If you have torn the ligaments on the lateral side of your ankle and the ankle keeps giving way, you would normally initially be prescribed a course of physiotherapy to settle down inflammation and bruising in your ankle and strengthen the muscles on the outside of your ankle (peroneal muscles). This improves the problem and allows most people to get back to normal activities.

A further assessment including stress radiographs and an MRI scan of your ankle. Occasionally, your Orthopaedic surgeon may recommend an “ankle arthroscopy”. If the investigations confirm that your ankle is truly unstable and there is nothing else the matter usually your surgeon would recommend a simple repair of the ligament.

A cut is made over the outer side of the ankle. The remains of the torn ligament are found. Small grooves are made in the bone on the outer side of the ankle (the “lateral malleolus”). Special sutures are used to reattach the ligament to the bone. The skin is closed, usually with a dissolving stitch buried under the skin. A plaster is applied to the leg.

Occasionally the ligament is so badly damaged, or the ends are so scarred, that it cannot be repaired. In that case, the ligament would be replaced with a piece of tendon from the outside of your ankle. The cut for this is longer and a second cut may be needed higher up the leg to get the tendon free. The free piece of tendon is attached to the bone with stitches tied through small anchors in the bones where your ligaments normally run. The skin is closed, usually with a dissolving stitch buried under the skin. A plaster cast or a plaster splint down the back of your ankle and under your foot will be applied while you are asleep.

There are different treatments depending on condition which Dr.Kevin yip will advise during the consultation, if there is a need for a treatment or surgery. For an appointment with Dr.Kevin yip please call +65 6471 2691(24hours)