Orthopaedic Surgeon Questions Podiatrist

When is ankle surgery necessary?

I am a 44 year old female. I want to know when is ankle surgery necessary?

8 Answers

The timing for surgery will vary for each individual. I would recommend discussing with a foot and ankle surgeon (podiatrist) for details and timing of procedure(s)
Thank you for requesting an answer to this question. There is no way that our physician can answer this question as to when ankle surgery is needed because the physician like myself does not have the complete history, X-rays, and complicating factors. You need to find a good foot and ankle surgeon and then have an evaluation of range of motion, ultrasound, and X-rays, and then can be discussed whether ankle surgery is necessary.

Thank you,

Dr. Gorman
Ankle surgery is NECESSARY when you have certain pathologies of the joint. Certain types of ankle fractures may be casted and may not require surgery to fix, but others that are very unstable REQUIRE surgery. Surgery is REQUIRED when the syndesmosis between the Tibia and Fibula is torn or ruptured. Surgery is REQUIRED when you have a dislocation of the ankle. Any infection in the ankle REQUIRES surgery. Other pathologies may be dealt with in various ways (conservatively or surgically), depending on the severity of the pathology. For example, severe ankle arthritis will require an ankle fusion or joint replacement. An Osteochondral Defect of the ankle may or may not require surgery.
Patients ideally talk the doctor INTO doing surgery. When the pain becomes too much for you, then you will plead for surgical correction.
When conservative care has failed.
Great question,

Depends on the nature and severity of the problem. An unstable ankle fracture needs surgery. A mild or grade one ankle sprain requires therapy and rehabilitation. Get a thorough exam with a concrete diagnosis. Then, a qualified specialist can explain your options.
Depends on the condition. If trauma, maybe immediately. When conservative measures are not giving adequate relief or when your daily life is being altered due to some mechanical complication. These are just generalizations as every surgery case should be tailored to the individual.

Ahmad Farah, DPM
That is a very broad question. The simplest answer is that it depends on who you are, and why you might need the surgery. If you are a high level competitive athlete you may go into surgery much sooner than a casual athlete or someone who is only somewhat on their feet. The rule of thumb for non professional athletes is to do surgery when conservative care has been exhausted, and the issue holds you back from your normal everyday activities.