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Ankle Surgery

Ankle Surgery: Overview, Preparation, Procedure, Recovery, Risks, and Aftercare


Ankle surgery is a medical procedure performed to treat a variety of conditions affecting the ankle joint, such as fractures, ligament injuries, arthritis, and deformities. In ankle surgery, pain is relieved, function is restored, and mobility is improved.


There are several steps involved in preparing for ankle surgery:

  • Medical Evaluation: In order to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and determine the most appropriate treatment approach, your orthopedic surgeon will conduct a thorough evaluation of your ankle, which may include a physical examination, imaging tests, and medical history review.

  • In order to help you make an informed decision about undergoing surgery, your surgeon will discuss the different treatment options available for your condition, as well as the benefits and risks.

  • The surgical facility will provide you with specific instructions before surgery, such as fasting for a certain period, discontinuing certain medications that may increase bleeding risk, and arranging transportation to and from the hospital.


There are several types of ankle surgery, depending on the underlying condition being treated.

  • Plates, screws, or other fixation devices are used to realign and stabilize broken ankle bones.

  • Through small incisions, a small camera and specialized instruments are inserted into the ankle joint to diagnose and treat various conditions such as cartilage damage, inflammation, and loose bodies.

  • In cases of severe arthritis or deformity, ankle fusion (arthrodesis) involves joining the bones of the ankle joint together to relieve pain and stabilize the joint.

  • Ankle Ligament Reconstruction: Ankle ligaments are repaired or reconstructed after they have been damaged by sprains or instability.


Ankle surgery recovery varies depending on the type and extent of the procedure. However, common features include:

  • Ankle surgeries may require a short hospital stay for observation and pain management, while others can be performed as outpatient procedures.

  • After surgery, you may need to wear a splint, cast, or brace to immobilize the ankle and promote proper healing.

  • Ankle surgery recovery typically requires physical therapy, which improves strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the ankle joint.

  • You will need to gradually increase weight-bearing and activity levels as tolerated, under the guidance of your surgeon and physical therapist.


There are certain risks and potential complications associated with ankle surgery, including:

  • Following surgery, there is a risk of infection at the surgical site or within the ankle joint.

  • Occasionally, nerves or blood vessels near the surgical site can be injured during the procedure, causing sensory changes or circulatory problems.

  • Individuals with complex fractures or fusions may experience delayed healing or nonunion of the bones following ankle surgery.


Following ankle surgery, you should follow your surgeon's postoperative instructions, which may include:

  • For pain management, infection prevention, and inflammation reduction, take prescribed medications as directed.

  • Keep surgical incisions clean and dry, and monitor them for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or drainage.

  • Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon to assess your healing progress, remove sutures, and remove staples.

Several individuals achieve a successful recovery by following these aftercare instructions and adhering to the prescribed rehabilitation program.

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