As I have previously mentioned here on my blog, shortly before Christmas I underwent surgery to repair damaged ligaments in my foot, and further to have bone fragments removed from within the foot. I figured I could dedicate a post to what ligament reconstruction in the foot entails to not only better educate myself on the matter, but also anyone else who may find the topic to be interesting.
Foot or ankle reconstruction surgery typically involves general anesthetic in addition to a numbing injection in the ligament region for the patient involved. For some patients, the surgeon will perform an ankle arthroscopy prior to repairing the ligaments to evaluate the extent of damage to the ligament itself. To repair the actual ligament(s), an incision is made along the outside of the foot to permit the surgeon to locate scar tissue from the torn ligament and repair it by stitching it to the bone.
Immediately after the surgery, the patient will be in a plaster or fiberglass cast that stops below the knee. Once you have been evaluated by your surgeon, you will be able to leave the hospital and return home. You can expect to return for several follow-up appoints following the surgery. It is extremely important to keep the foot/ankle elevated for the first couple of weeks after the surgery to reduce swelling, and further to refrain from moving around a lot. Rest is key in terms of ligament reconstruction.
For me, I had three different fiberglass casts, and I was in a fiberglass cast for six-and-a-half weeks total. I am now in an aircast which is to be on my foot for at least three weeks, and once the aircast is removed I will begin physio. The healing process is undeniably longer than I anticipated, but it certainly is beneficial in the long run.