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  • Lateral Ankle Stabilization surgery

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    Old 03-31-2008, 08:19 PM   #1
    HBeck87's Avatar
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    Lateral Ankle Stabilization surgery

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to this, but I am very excited to have some of my questions answered.
    Here is my story...
    I am a 20 year old female with an annoying ankle issue. Almost 4 years ago I sprained my right ankle for the first time playing soccer. About 5 months later I sprained it again. Then about 3 months after that I sprained it for a third time. Talk about clumsy!
    Ever since the last sprain my ankle has bothered me. It is always swollen and sore. It feels very unstable especially when I wear heels. I've been through physical therapy already, but that didn't seem to help. About 2 months ago I started see a specialist about the issue. I received a cortizone (spelling?) shot, but that only helped for about a week.
    I decided to go through with the lateral ankle stabilization surgery and it is scheduled for May 6th. I have NEVER had any kind of surgery so obviously I am very nervous and want to know EVERYTHING about what I am getting into. The procedure is very simple. He will just cut me open and rebuild the ligament with a connective tissue from a horse heart...weird i know. Thankfully, he won't have to mess with anything else in my foot except that ligament.
    Here are my problems that are making me not want to get the surgery...
    Second, I am really concerned about the healing time and how long I will have to be on crutches.
    Third, I want to go back to work within a week of getting the surgery. Does that sound unreasonable? I work at an accounting firm so it should be pretty easy working with a "broken foot". All I do is sit all day mostly.

    Please answer these questions I have. I want to know EVERYTHING there is to know about this surgery and it's recovery time.


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    Old 04-01-2008, 08:14 AM   #2
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    Re: Lateral Ankle Stabilization surgery

    Hi, Hailey. Welcome to the forum.

    Rebuild with animal tissue? That's one I haven't heard before.

    However, with most ankle ligament surgeries, the story is that you wear a device called a surgical splint for 1-2 weeks, then a hard cast, then a boot called a CAM walker. The splint is designed to immobilize the foot while allowing the incision to heal, and allowing a little room for swelling. You will be on crutches for at least 2 weeks, maybe longer. Ask the Dr. how long.

    You may want to look into a device called a "Turning Leg Caddy" or "rollabout." (Either of those brands are fine, the TLC probably safest, do not get a "knee walker" from Invacare company, it's an accident waiting to happen) Do you live alone? Is there someone who can take care of you and bring you food for the first couple of days?

    I just recently had arthroscopic ankle surgery, and the swelling was probably the most annoying part. For the first few days, I had to keep my foot propped up above my heart all day long. For the first day or so, it would be uncomfortable to take it off its pillow throne long enough to crutch to the bathroom! Ask your doctor, but I would guess you'd need a week off at least, maybe you want to stay out until the splints come off. The real determining factor is how you'd get there, and whether you'd be able to work while staying elevated. Right ankle? No driving for several weeks, then.

    The full recovery (return to sports) is about 12 weeks for a ligament repair, from what I've heard, although you should be reasonably "able" within about half that time.

    My surgery was, I guess, about 2/3 as bad as yours in the beginning, and about 1/2 as long to full recovery. I had arthroscopic debridement, meaning the surgeon made 2 tiny incisions and took out a lot of scar tissue. You can check out my thread "Got the Pre-op crazies" for what my life has been like recently.

    Old 04-01-2008, 06:44 PM   #3
    HBeck87's Avatar
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    Re: Lateral Ankle Stabilization surgery

    Thanks so much. I was able to talk to my co-workers wife today, she had pretty much the exact same surgery that I am getting. She was definatly a lot of help.
    Thankfully, I don't live alone. I live with my Dad and stepmom for now. My mom will be the one taking care of me for the first week or so.

    I'm a little worried about the work issue though. I sit at a desk pretty much all day, but there is not much room under my desk to put a stool or something to prop my foot up. Other than that I'm sure I will be fine at work.

    The no driving part really is a bummer. My life revolves around driving! As a 20 year old female you should probably expect that I'm NEVER home, but that will have to change.
    Thanks so much again for the help.

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