Joint Preservation Blog

January 4, 2009

Torn Ankle Ligament

Filed under: ankle — Tags: , , , , , , , — D @ 4:49 pm
torn ankle ligament

torn ankle ligament

The outside (lateral) ankle ligaments are the ones that are usually injured. These are the anterior and posterior (front and back) talo-fibular ligaments (the duct tape that holds the talus bone to the heel bone) and the calcaneo-fibular (the duct tape that holds the outside small leg bone (fibula) to the heel bone (calcaneus)). As a physician with a torn ankle ligament, there are three ways to fix a torn ankle ligament that hasn’t healed on it’s own:

1. Tendon graft surgery. The surgeon will take a tendon from the foot and sew it into place to substitute for a torn ankle ligament. The surgeon may also sew up any partial tears in any of the ankle ligaments. There are tow big downsides. The first is that this is a tight space and getting an arthroscope into the ankle can by itself cause some tissue damage. The second is that the tendon graft may end up either causing biomechanical issues (you need all of your tendons, so borrowing one from another spot may cause problems) or it can be placed too tightly and cause further ankle arthritis.
2. Prolotherapy. This is the injection of substances to cause a brief inflammatory healing reaction in the ligaments. For more information on prolotherapy.
3. Percuteneous stem cell assisted repair. This is where the doctor takes the patients own stem cells, grows them in a lab over a few weeks to bigger numbers, and then injects them back into the torn ligaments to repair the tears. This is the future of dealing with this problem and has just become available in the US. For a vido on the subject, see below:


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