Joint Preservation Blog

Ankle Surgery for Torn Ligaments?

I have a bad ankle.  I tore the ligaments running many years ago.  I tried the all the ankle braces I could find.  No help.  In fact, some like the air cast simply caused my ankle to swell without adding support.  My favorite ankle brace was the MalleoLoc.  It actually helped stabilize the ankle.  My ankle was ultimately helped without braces by prolotherapy.  It wasn’t perfect, but functional.  A newer ankle surgery alternative is injecting stem cells into the torn ligaments to get them to mend.  I have seen patients who have had surgeries, with usually bad results.  Taking a tendon to substitute for ankle ligaments is a treatment fraught with complications and problems.  

The stem cell based method reduces complications because an otherwise useful tendon is not being sacrificed to replace the damaged ligaments.  Instead, the torn portion of the ligament is repaired.

What can happen if you leave your ankle unstable with damaged ligaments for long periods of time?  Your ankle will find a bony solution, meaning it will add bone spurs to try and make the joint more stable.  This will eventually cause further joint damage and limited motion, so if you have a ligament problem, getting fixed early can reduce these long-term complications.

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