Orthopaedic Surgeon Questions Orthopaedic Surgeon

How do I help my son who's ankle surgery is delayed?

My 10 year old son has a sprained ankle but can't have surgery due to covid-19. How do I help my son who's ankle surgery is delayed?

14 Answers

Limit amb elevation.
If he sprained his ankle the best thing is to be immobilized in a boot and just elevate and ice the area until surgery. If the doctor said it was ok to do some motion of the ankle then that would also be recommended but please follow your doctors recommendations.
Sprained ankles usually do not need surgery. Even if there was a fracture, most of these can be treated conservatively entirely.
In general, kids do not sprain their ankles- they usually fracture the bones of the ankle, rather than spraining or tearing their ankle ligaments. So, you are giving incomplete or incorrect info here. All you can do is keep him on crutches and wearing his cast, splint, or boot until elective surgery is available again. Hospitals in Pennsylvania, where I am, have just reopened for elective surgeries.
Follow the surgeon's recommendations until he can have surgery, which I would imagine would be immobilization and non-weight bearing with crutches.
Why was your 10-year-old son recommended surgery for a sprained ankle? Is this a recent injury or a chronic injury? Is the ankle chronically unstable? What is the nature of the proposed surgery? The short answer for most patients who require stabilization surgery and cannot undergo it due to the pandemic is ankle stabilization via external means, such as a brace or boot.
Support the ankle. Use a heel enclosed ankle support. Limit weight bearing .
Until the surgery can be rescheduled, I would use ice and I would get an ankle brace from the drugstore to help support the ankle. Unfortunately, this is an elective surgery and it will have to go when it is permissible.
Thank you.
I’m sorry to hear about the delay in your son’s surgery. Unfortunately, we are not sure when elective surgery will be starting up again. In the interim use crutches or a brace as recommended by your surgeon.
I’m sorry your son has an injured ankle. I question however why he needs surgery at the age of 10 years old. Has he been immobilized in a cast or cast boot? Also has he had physical therapy to strengthen his ankle and is he wearing some kind of brace if so. It is very unusual to have surgery to repair at sprained ankle at the age of 10. If it is a displaced fracture that’s a different story. I would say sincerely question why he is having surgery at the age of 10 for a sprained ankle. I would recommend obtaining a second opinion.
They should have immobilized the ankle which should help.
I would recommend continue to give him support, such as an ankle sleeve and high top shoes. He can also limit high impact activity. I recommend you discuss with his surgeon other ways to provide some comfort until his surgery can be rescheduled
Use an ankle brace or high top hiking style shoe to give the ankle better support. Topical pain creams also help and with elevation and applying ice to the area for 15-20 mins out of each hour, especially if there is swelling
Most people do not require surgery to repair a sprained ankle. Especially in a 10 year old boy. Most ankle sprains are handled conservatively with a cast, a walking boot, and/or an ankle brace for several weeks to several months, if necessary. The only indication for surgery would be if the ankle was actually fractured and displaced, or if it was a fracture at a certain level on the fibula. If it was a simple sprain, the first course of action is to immobilize the patient in a walking boot or a cast, and then move to physical therapy modalities. If the patient does not improve after a couple months, an MRI must be performed in order to determine if a ligament is actually ruptured and needs to be repaired. Otherwise, surgery is NOT indicated. Rest, Ice, Elevation, Immobilization. That's it.