There are two components to the surgery.
An arthroscopy is performed first to assess the cartilage surfaces of the joint, to remove any scar tissue or bony spurs that may be present. This is done through 2 small incisions at the front of the ankle.
The second part of the operation involves an incision on the outside of the ankle.
The torn or stretched ligaments are repaired and tightened using sutures.


  • You will be in hospital for 1 night
  • 0-2 weeks
    • Rest and elevate as much as possible to ensure wound healing
    • Non weightbearing
  • At 2 weeks you will be reviewed by Mr Curry.
    • You will see our Nurse Practitioner who will remove stitches.
    • You will be fitted with an ankle brace.
    • Begin weightbearing in the brace
  • Phase 1 – Recovery 2-6 weeks
    • Attend physiotherapy for guidance with swelling management, range of motion training and progressing into strengthening
    • Brace to be worn at all times
    • Full weightbearing in the brace
  • Phase 2 – Strength and neuromuscular training
    • Weaning off brace except when at risk – uneven ground and sport
    • Improve strength and balance
  • Phase 3 – Return to sport- brace to be worn for 6 months
  • Phase 4 – Prevention of recurrence
  • Recovery is patient specific and the rate at which you will progress through stages 2-4 will vary. You will be guided by your physiotherapist

When can I return to sport?

You can return to sport from 3- 6 months after surgery dependent on the level and what sport.

How long will I be off work?

This is dependent upon your occupation:

  • Seated job 2-3 weeks
  • Standing job 6 weeks
  • Heavy lifting job 8-12 weeks

When can I drive?

  • Manual car – no driving for 6 weeks
  • Automatic car
  • Left foot no driving for 2 weeks
  • Right foot no driving for 6 weeks

What are the risks of the procedure?

General risks

  • Infection and wound problems
  • Nerve injury and scar sensitivity
  • Blood clots to the leg
  • Anaesthetic problems
  • Incomplete resolution of symptoms

Specific to lateral ligament reconstruction

  • Ankle stiffness (uncommon)
  • Recurrent instability can occur in of 5% of patients and usually occurs after another injury.