Sarah had a complete tear of the ATFL and questions surgery

October 19, 2016

In Feb this year I had an avulsion fracuture and a complete  tear of the ATFL and rupture of calcaneofibular ligaments. I was sent away from hospital with a pair of crutches as these injuries were not picked up.

I was referred the the fracture clinic 3 weeks later and finally had an MRI in may, I have been unable to run or do anything with impact for months but have been doing exercises and having physio and trying to massage to help with the scar tissue. I still have limited movement but it is getting better and the swelling is getting ess and less,

I have today been given an op date in Nov for and ankle arthroscopy but am wondering if I might not be better off avoiding surgery as I do not want to go backwards, I have previously suffered from a dvt in that leg 12 years ago which is another risk factor, any advice please?

October 19, 2016

Hi Sarah

DVT is certainly a (small) complication risk of any surgery, but during the pre-op assessment the team will be doing everything possible to mitigate the risk – it’s not worth doing otherwise!

Let you OS know you’re really concerned and I’m sure they can medicate and monitor you appropriately.

With regards to the op, probably a Bostrum repair, as long as you’ve failed at decent rehab and have tried to eek out all the functionality of your damaged ankle structure, then the op will be a success.

You need to the stability of the ligament(s) that have been destroyed to allow you ankle to function at a higher level.

Allow yourself to go a little backwards as a temporary measure and I’m sure you’ll sling shot forwards after the op.

To help maximise your return to function, as a simple rule the better you go in – good strength, as much movement as possible and decent balance with eyes open and closed – generally the better you come out.

Good luck!

Guru Responded

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