Ankle sprains most often heal without the need for surgery. With immediate care, such as the use of the RICE method and physical therapy, your ankle can get back to normal again. However, in some cases, surgery may be necessary to recover from a severe ankle sprain, or if you repeatedly sprain it. Podiatric surgeons can get to the bottom of the problem with your ankle and recommend appropriate treatment.
If you are wondering whether it’s time for surgery to help your ankle heal, you should discuss it with your doctor. Let’s go over some reasons why a doctor may recommend surgery for an ankle injury.
When Conservative Treatment Methods Do Not Relieve Symptoms
Ankle sprains usually respond well to conservative treatments, such as rest, medications, bracing, and physical therapy. However, if the symptoms persist, doctors may change their recommendations based on the lack of response to earlier treatment methods. Surgery to treat an ankle sprain involves operating on the ligament that has been stretched or torn and restoring stability to the ankle.
When You Have Chronic Ankle Instability
If this is not the first time you’ve sprained your ankle, you may develop a condition called chronic ankle instability. Repeated injuries to the ankle ligaments can cause them to weaken. This type of problem is often seen in patients who have failed to completely heal and rehabilitate from a previous ankle sprain. Symptoms of chronic ankle instability are a repeated turning motion of the ankle when the foot hits the ground, a sensation of the ankle being wobbly, as well as frequent pain and discomfort in the ankle. Chronic ankle instability can be very risky and lead to tripping or falling, which can lead to other injuries.
When You Have a Severe Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprains are graded according to their severity. While grade I sprains can heal without surgery, grade II and grade III sprains, where the ligament becomes partially or completely torn, may need surgery to repair. Surgical treatment for severe ankle sprains can be performed using a minimally invasive approach, or ankle arthroscopy.
The advantage of arthroscopic ankle surgery lies in the fact that in order to perform the surgery, the doctor only needs to make tiny incisions and use thin, flexible instruments to view the inside of the ankle and make repairs to the torn ligaments. Patients report feeling less pain and stiffness following minimally invasive ankle surgery.
Ankle Surgeon in Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care (CFAC) is the largest podiatric practice in southwest Ohio, with 18 locations from which to serve you. Our podiatrists are exceptionally trained and experienced in treating ankle sprains and chronic ankle instability and use arthroscopic ankle surgery to treat a variety of foot conditions. The residency training of our podiatrists in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery translates to better patient outcomes.
If you are interested in ankle surgery for your ankle sprain, we will let you know if you are a good candidate for the procedure. To schedule a consultation with one of our podiatrists, call our podiatry clinic nearest you or use our convenient appointment request form.