How Ligaments & Tendons Interact in Your Ankle
The ankle and foot are held together by ligaments and tendons. The ligaments
on both sides of the ankle are tightly attached to the bones. On the outside
(lateral) aspect of the ankle, there are three major ligaments called
the lateral collateral ligaments (LCL). On the inside (medial) aspect
of the ankle, there is a complex network of ligaments called the medial
collateral ligaments (MCL).
Ligaments help to restrict the motion of the ankle joint. When there is
an injury to the ligaments, they can be stretched out or torn. This can
lead to a sprain of the ligament, weakening them. In cases that are left
untreated, or in cases where many sprains are experienced in a short period
of time, there will be weakening of the ligaments leading to instability
of the ankle.
Repairing Torn or Damaged Ligaments Through Surgery
Your doctor may determine that your ligament tears or ankle instability
are severe enough to require surgery. The type of surgery depends on the
injury to the ligaments. In some cases, ligaments can be tightened and
strengthened again by placing them back onto the bone in their anatomic
position, possibly using a small anchor to attach the ligaments into the bone.
When the ligaments are too weakened or destroyed to repair, your doctor
may recommend ligament reconstruction. Ligament reconstruction surgery
involves harvesting a tendon to replace your damaged ligament. The most
common source is your peroneus brevis tendon (the tendon that pulls the
outside of the foot upwards.) The tendon will be routed through the bones
of the ankle to reinforce the ankle and provide the support that the ligament
had previously provided.
Of the many different types of ankle ligament procedures or modifications
of procedures performed, the more common ones are direct lateral ligament
repair, peroneus brevis tendon rerouting, peroneus brevis tendon loop,
and peroneus brevis tendon split and rerouting.
What to Expect After Your Surgery
Hoag Orthopedic Institute is recognized for our orthopedic-dedicated physical
therapy team. Our expertise will be essential in helping you regain full
motion and optimal use of your foot and ankle. Most patients go home the
same day as the operation. You will have a plaster cast below the knee,
and you won’t be able to bear weight on the foot for about 10-14 days.
After the initial period, the cast will be replaced by a walker boot, which
you will be able to remove in order to do exercises. The Hoag Orthopedic
Institute physical therapy team will work together with your surgeon to
help you return to your normal activities as quickly as possible.
Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Specialists in Orange County, California
Hoag Orthopedic Institute continually procures and implements the most
advanced operating room equipment, such as state-of-the-art technology
in arthroscopic surgery of the ankle and foot. The team is highly trained
and experienced, as well as orthopedic certified and/or specialized.
Find an Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Specialist at Hoag Orthopedic Institute.