Lateral Ligament Reconstruction

December 11th, 2017 by LOC Team

Lateral ligament reconstruction is an ankle surgery typically carried out to improve stability and to treat sprains. Below, we’re going to look at the surgery and what you can expect if you are due to have this treatment soon. Of course, everyone reacts differently to surgery so while this article aims to cover the surgery completely, you may notice that your rehabilitation and recovery time differs from what is mentioned here.

Lateral ligament reconstruction surgery – what’s involved?

Lateral ligament reconstruction is usually performed as a day case procedure. You’ll have general anaesthetic and an injection in your ankle to reduce the pain after the surgery. In some cases of lateral ligament reconstruction, the surgeons may first carry out ankle arthroscopy to inspect the joint. This is done to locate the damage and make sure there is nothing else going on within your ankle that may make the ligament reconstruction unsuccessful.

Lateral ligament reconstruction involves one incision on the outside of the ankle. This cut allows the surgeons to locate the damaged tissue from the torn ligament and then carry out the repairs by way of stitching the ligament back to the bone.


Immediately following surgery, you will be in a cast up to your knee. You will also be pain-free and numb in the area thanks to the local anaesthetic. Once you are comfortable, you will be sent home and given painkillers and a follow-up appointment if required. You will then be referred to a physiotherapist who can advise you on rehabilitation.

When can I start to walk?

Starting to walk after a surgery to your foot, ankle or leg, is obviously on everyone’s mind. However, there is no definite way of knowing when you will be able to walk again. It depends on the severity of the injury and the type of operation you have to correct it. However, we can give a guide to what to expect during the recovery period:

  • 0-2 weeks – you’ll have a cast on your ankle and will have to use crutches
  • 2-4 weeks – you’ll be given a boot which immobilises your foot, but allows you to put some weight on it when using crutches
  • 4-6 weeks – you’ll still be wearing the boot, but you will be able to put most of your weight on your foot by the six-week mark. After six weeks, you may also be able to start wearing normal shoes again.

Physio and rehabilitation

Your doctor may assign you to a physiotherapist for further ankle treatment. They will be able to give you a personalised rehabilitation treatment programme that will help to strengthen your ankle and get you walking normally. The treatment programme is designed to reduce the swelling and pain in your ankle whilst loosening and strengthen the muscles. The length of time you need to do this programme depends on how severe the injury to your ankle was.

We hope this look at lateral ligament reconstruction has been helpful. To find out more about common ankle and foot injuries and treatments. Please explore our website further.