The surgical approach: Although acute ankle sprains are not usually treated surgically, chronically loose ankle ligaments do require surgery for removal. An attempt is made to reroute tendons through small holes drilled into the bone to stabilize the area.
The challenge: Much like the more vertical alignment of the ACL repair, the ankle tendons will never have the same ability to protect the joint as well as the native ligaments. In addition, the tendons harvested to replace the ligaments all have a function—there are no spare parts in the body! As a result, the area where the tendons were harvested will never be biomechanically the same.
The Physical Therapy approach: After ankle injury it’s imperative to get to a Physical Therapy program quickly. The goal is to do physical therapy until you get back to your previous normal level of activity. Most patients rehabilitation of their ankle takes about four to six weeks, however, the level of injury will dictate the time it takes to rehabilitate. Physical therapy focuses on decreasing the swelling and protection immediately post ankle injury. The next step is regaining full range of motion, which helps relieve ankle pain, and then finally the strengthening phase of your ankle and all of the surrounding musculatures of your core, hip, and knees.