If you’ve experienced an injury or suffer from serious ankle pain, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.
What is a Broström-Gould Ligament Repair?
Broström-Gould Ligament Repair is a common surgical procedure to address instability in the lateral ankle ligaments. The two most common ligaments affected in a lateral ankle sprain or injury include the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) and the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL). Prior to surgical consultation, your foot and ankle specialist determines whether the ankle seems unstable via physical examination with possible advanced imaging MRI results. In addition to directly repairing the torn or diseased ankle ligaments, your foot and ankle surgeon may arthroscopically inspect the ankle joint to evaluate additional cartilage injury or soft tissue impingement along with the ligament tear and instability. Ankle arthroscopy may involve debridement of the soft tissue impingements and direct repair of a small cartilage defect using osteobiologics.
The surgeon creates a curvilinear incision on the outside of the ankle to gain access to the lateral ankle ligaments. The surgeon may additionally inspect and address the peroneal tendons using the same incision.
The ATFL and CFL are then directly repaired using strong synthetic suture material with the ankle maintained in a reduced position in a slightly neutral to extended and everted position. Once the specialist repairs the two ligaments, they use another ligament structure, the extensor retinaculum, to tie over the ATFL and CFL in a so-called pants- over-vest fashion to ensure that the ligaments maintain correction securely.
How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Lateral Ankle Stabilization Ligament Repair?
After undergoing a lateral ankle stabilization procedure, the doctor will have the patient placed in a soft, well-padded below knee splint around the foot and ankle for two weeks before replacing it with cast or walking boot for around 6 more weeks.
Before leaving the hospital, patients will learn how to properly use crutches and also learn exercises that will help them recover strength and flexibility in the foot.
After surgery, patients should stay off of their foot and keep it elevated for two weeks. Patients should also make sure to perform their prescribed stability exercises and stretches given to them by their physical therapist.
Starting in week two, patients should practice walking short distances with the aid of crutches, while still avoiding weight on the recovering foot.
At the four-week mark, the doctor may prescribe physical therapy to strengthen the leg again and to prevent stiffening of the ankle.
At the six-week mark, patients will return to the office for a followup appointment and X-rays. If the physician confirms the foot has continued to heal properly, patients may start putting weight on the foot slowly with a comfortable shoe or slipper.
Between six- and twelve-weeks post-surgery, patients may return to work given that their job does not require walking or heavy manual labor. Ankle stabilization rehabilitation will continue through week 10 to week 12 depending on therapy progress. For jobs involving heavy manual labor, patients may need to wait a full six months before returning to work.
At the twelve week mark, the ligaments would have appropriately healed and patients can move around without the cast and safely drive again. Patients can usually start driving earlier than twelve weeks if the procedure was performed on their left foot, though they may need to check with their insurance provider.