6 Common Types Of Ankle Surgery An Orthopaedic Doctor Performs

6 Common Types Of Ankle Surgery An Orthopaedic Doctor Performs

Whenever we walk, run, or jump, our feet and especially our ankles bear the brunt of the stress. Over time, this strain on our ankles can eventually lead to severe injuries which may not respond to non-surgical interventions like rest, custom orthotics, braces, or physical therapy. 

Learn More: What Treatments Do Ankle Specialists Offer Their Patients?

The way to move forward in such cases might be to opt for ankle surgery to repair fractures, ligament tears, and joint or tendon problems. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the common types of ankle surgeries performed by orthopaedic doctors in Singapore.

1) Arthroscopy

An Arthroscopy, also referred to as a “keyhole surgery” is a procedure where a camera is inserted into your ankle to diagnose problems with joint and ligaments. During an Arthroscopy, small cuts are made at the bottom of your feet and the camera is inserted through these incisions. 

Arthroscopy is an effective, minimally-invasive surgery that can both diagnose and treat ankle instability, ankle impingement, bone spurs, torn ligaments, or scar tissue. Arthroscopy is usually performed as an outpatient surgery and you should be able to go home on the same day with recovery time usually spanning a few weeks.

Ankle Fracture Fixation in Singapore

2) Ankle Fracture Fixation

An ankle fracture in Singapore is a break to one of the three bones that make up the ankle joint. Non-severe fractures, known as nondisplaced fractures, where the bones have not moved out of place can be treated via leg casts and special boots. 

However, displaced fractures, where the bone fragments are separated, might require surgery. Especially if the ankle joint has been dislocated as well. Depending on the extent of the fracture, screws and plates might be inserted during the surgery to keep the joint bones in place during recovery.

3) Ankle Replacement

If you have a severe case of osteoarthritis, and your ankle cartilage has broken down completely, ankle replacement surgery might be recommended by your orthopaedic doctor to remove the damaged cartilage and replace it with artificial parts. 

These artificial joints help the ankle with more natural movement patterns to reduce risk of arthritis happening in nearby joints. The entire surgical procedure for a complete ankle replacement might take several hours and you might need to be on crutches for a few weeks.

4) Ankle Tendon Repair

Tendons are banded tissues that connect muscle to bone. They work together to ensure full functionality and stability of the ankle joint. Injuries to ankle tendons include acute tears, tendonitis, tendinopathy, and tendinosis. While non-surgical treatment methods are preferred, in cases where they are ineffective, surgical ankle tendon repair becomes a necessity.

During an ankle tendon repair, an incision is made and damaged tissues are removed. Torn ends of tendons may also be sewn together. Recovery might take several months with physical therapy playing an important role.

5) Lateral ankle ligament reconstruction

A lateral ankle ligament reconstruction is a surgery that is used to tighten and strengthen ankle ligaments. It is generally recommended by foot and ankle specialists for patients who have loose or overstretched ankle ligaments leading to chronic ankle instability. 

It is usually performed as an outpatient surgery and there are several different techniques that can be called upon for the procedure, depending on the type of injury sustained. Most commonly, the patient’s ligament can be repaired with stitches. An alternative option is to use a grafted tendon to repair the ligament.

Achilles Tendon Treatment foot and ankle specialist in Singapore

6) Achilles Tendon Treatment

The achilles tendon connects the muscles in your calf to your heel bone. If you have completely ruptured your achilles tendon, surgery might be the preferred way to move forward to reduce chances of re-rupture.

Surgery for achilles tendon involves making an incision at the back of your ankle and stitching the torn tendon back together. Recovery timeline for achilles tendon surgery is around 4-6 months depending on injury severity.

As with all types of surgery, there’s always an element of risk involved. In many cases, the benefits to the patient are weighed against the potential complications before any decision is made about treatment protocol. Other factors like the quality of life for the patient and how it may affect their occupation or lifestyle are also considered.

As a foot and ankle specialist in Singapore, Dr Kannan Kaliyaperumal is an orthopaedic surgeon with years of experience in lower limb disorders and surgical treatment. At his clinic, the Specialist Orthopaedic Centre, the aim is to provide quality medical treatment that is customised to fit a patient’s needs and means. Contact us today to learn more about the services we provide and make an appointment with our team.