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Recurrent Ankle Sprains (Ankle Instability) Print

Recurrent ankle sprains

(Ankle instability)

What is  ankle instability?

Ankle is twisted easily and several times in ankle instability . It is usually seen after a severe ankle twist with ankle ligament tears. In this sprains ankle may have severe pain and swelling.

What is the common cause of ankle sprains?

There are many ligaments that stabilize ankle. Ankle sports trauma or frequent ankle sprains may cause tears of anterior talofibular ligament and calcaneofibular ligament.

These ligament injury are classified in three groups: 1 - ligament strain, 2 - partial ligament tear, 3 - complete tear of the ligament.If the third group injuries are not treated properly, can often cause recurrent ankle sprains or ankle instability.

Do the ligament tears cause further damage?

Frequent ankle sprains not only cause decrease of functional success during sports activity and performance, also, cartilage and soft tissues of the ankle can have further injuries due to the instability.

What is the treatment of repeating ankle sprains?

In the treatment of ankle sprains, conservative traetment like physical therapy is attempted first. However, in some cases which conservative treatment  fails, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Ankle ligament reconstruction surgery is applied in the following cases:

Recurrent ankle sprains and continued instability despite intense physical theraphy

loss of function


What tests are done prior to the Ankle Ligament Reconstruction?

Before Ankle Ligament Reconstruction, physical examination and radiological analysis including MR should be performed.

In MRI study, both coexisting injury (cartilage damage, other ligament injury, and others) can  also be easily detached.

Is there a process of ankle Ligament Reconstruction accompanied with the ankle arthroscopy?

If there are;

The presence of concomitant pathology of radiography or MRI,

Ankle joint movement limitations,

The presence of unexplained pain Ankle,

simultaneously with the process of reconstruction, ankle arthroscopy is performed.

How is Ankle Ligament Reconstruction surgery performed?

extensor retinaculum, peroneal tendon, or tendon auto and allografts are used.

Ankle Ligament Reconstruction using the extensor retinaculum process is shown schematically below:

How long do I need to stay in hospital and when will I be able to start to walk?

After ankle ligament reconstruction surgery, the hospital stay is one night. Postoperatively, below knee cast is used for 4 weeks. patient can walk with crutches on the first postoperative day and is allowed to bear weight in 1 week.

How long it takes to do sportive activities after ankle ligament reconstruction surgery?

10-12 weeks after ankle ligament reconstruction surgery patients can return back to sports.


Key Words: ankle sprain, ankle instability, anterior talofibular ligamen, calcaneofibular ligament.

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