Re: Having Brostrom Procedure in a week - what should I expect?
I had this surgery almost exactly a year ago and I am very happy with the results. I DID have a ridiculously loose ankle and my lateral ligaments were completely toast. If this is your case, then I recommend the procedure. I think so much of the recovery and process depends on your surgeon. My doctor is very well known & respected and does work for an NFL team. My referring Dr told me that the ortho-Dr only did surgery as a last resort, so when he told me to have surgery, I listened to him. Try to do some research on your Dr - ask him/her how often he does the procedure, what kind of results other patients have had etc.
My recovery was:
- 10 days on a couch in a cast absolutely non-weight bearing taking Percocet the first 5 days (set an alarm to take it in the middle of the night as dosing requires - stay ahead of any possible pain). I was groggy but not in any pain. Get some DVDs - I recommend TV series since your attention span won't be fantastic because of the pain meds.
- 4 weeks in a fixed walking boot 100% weight bearing keeping the boot on 100% of the time (I had to sleep in the thing - I put it inside a pillowcase to keep my sheets clean)
- 4 weeks in a lace-up cloth brace, still sleeping in the frigging walking boot.
Once I was given the go-ahead to sleep without the boot, I was told I could resume regular activity, wearing the brace during any strenuous activity. I was riding a horse (cautiously) 3 months after surgery.
Here are some pointers I'd give based on my experience:
Go into surgery as physically fit as you can be; your muscles in the affected leg will atrophy and disappear by the time you get the hard cast removed so try to beef up ahead of time. Once you are in a walking boot, again, be as active as pain/comfort allows (lots of long walks); building back the lost muscle is important to keep from re-injuring the ankle. If your Dr recommends, do any and all stretches once the cast is off. Your body is laying down scar tissue on the ligaments and by stretching, you increase your future mobility and elasticity. My Dr did not make me do any physical therapy after I was giving free rein from any braces. Since I lead a pretty athletic and active lifestyle, I wore the cloth brace for most activities. Perhaps I relied on it too heavily and now, even a year later, the leg that had the surgery is definitely weaker. I called my Dr a few weeks ago and began PT and I already feel a significant improvement in strength and fine-motor skills.
If your ankle's instability is preventing you from doing things you enjoy, then get the surgery. I am thrilled to be playing tennis for the first time in over three years. I can jump down from places and not worry about falling on landing, I can stand on one leg and lean off a ladder, and so many other simple things that I was not able to do before surgery. I am in my early 30's and if I had not had the surgery, my instability would have caused a ton of problems later on in life. My muscles would have developed asymmetrically leading to numerous knee, hip, and back issues as a result of the rest of my body having to compensate for my ankle's failures.
Hope this information is helpful and sorry for being so wordy!!