Simple tasks are frustrating, and you just want to be able to do what you want without that constant ache. If you’ve tried physical therapy, splints or pain relievers without much luck, it might be time to consider ankle surgery. It could be the best path to relief — and getting back on your feet.
Cleveland Clinic’s experienced orthopaedic providers can treat sudden (acute) or chronic (ongoing) ankle pain. And if you need surgery, we explain the process step by step, so you feel confident about your decision.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Ankle Surgery?
We diagnose and treat all foot and ankle conditions, including arthritis, misshapen ankles, ankle fractures (broken ankles) and other injuries. And we keep supporting you through recovery, rehab and follow-up appointments.
Minimally invasive options:
We do minimally invasive surgery whenever possible. Smaller incisions (cuts) can help shorten recovery time and get you back on your feet faster. Meet our team.
We take the time to figure out what’s causing your ankle pain and what treatment will work best for you. Then we build a personalized surgery plan focused on you and your goals.
Skilled collaborative providers:
Our team-based approach to care means you may see healthcare providers from many different specialties as you go through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Your care team works together to find the best way to treat your ankle pain.
Cleveland Clinic’s virtual visits are an easy alternative to seeing your provider in person for some appointments. You’ll get the same great care but from the comfort of your sofa or favorite chair. All you need is an internet connection and a smartphone, computer or tablet.
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named us a top hospital in the world.
Ankle Surgery Consultation at Cleveland Clinic
We may recommend surgery if treatments like pain relievers, RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation), and physical therapy haven’t worked for:
- A broken ankle (fracture).
- Other ankle injuries.
- Chronic ankle instability (weakness).
- Misshapen ankles.
What to expect during your consultation
When you come to Cleveland Clinic for chronic ankle pain, the first thing we’ll do is listen to your story. We’ll want to know:
- Where the pain started in your ankle.
- How long you’ve had the pain.
- How the pain is affecting your day-to-day life.
Then, we’ll go over your medical history and take a close look at your ankle and foot. We’ll check for bruising and swelling and see where you’re having pain. We may also some other tests, like:
Sometimes, an infection could be causing your pain. In rare cases, you may need a biopsy. Your provider will remove a small amount of tissue to check for bacteria under a microscope in the lab.
Meet Our Ankle Surgery Team
We believe in team-based care at Cleveland Clinic. This means you may see healthcare providers from different specialties who’ll guide you through diagnosis, surgery and recovery. Your personalized care team will work together to plan every step of your treatment, focusing on your unique needs. Your team could include:
Providers Who Perform Ankle Surgery
LocationsOur healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio, Florida and London.
Getting Ankle Surgery at Cleveland Clinic
If we decide surgery is the best path for pain relief, we’ll work with you to craft your personalized treatment plan. We offer many types of surgery depending upon your condition. You’ll either have a numbing injection or nerve block during surgery or be completely asleep with general anesthesia. Our treatment options include:
We often use ankle arthroscopy to treat ankle injuries and arthritis. During this minimally invasive surgery, we make several small incisions in your ankle. We put a special instrument with a camera and light (arthroscope) into an incision to see inside your ankle. Then, we insert small instruments to fix any bone or tissue damage. Ankle arthroscopy usually takes about an hour.
Ankle fracture surgery
You may need ankle fracture surgery to treat fractured (broken) ankle bones. During this procedure, we stabilize your bones with metal plates, screws or small metal wires. There are many types of ankle fracture surgery. We’ll go over what we feel is the best option for your fracture.
We use ankle fusion to treat arthritis pain. During this procedure, we remove damaged tissue from the ends of your ankle bones. Then we connect metal plates or screws to your ankle bones to fuse your bones as they heal. After ankle fusion, you won’t be able to bend your ankle, but you should have less pain.
Lateral ankle ligament reconstruction (Brostrom procedure)
With lateral ankle ligament reconstruction, we make a small incision in your ankle and insert small tools to tighten weak ligaments that cause instability or repair damaged ligaments. This procedure is done under general anesthesia.
- Achilles tendon repair or reconstruction.
- Removing damaged or diseased tendon tissue.
- Repairing tendon tears.
- Tendon transfer (when a healthy tendon from another area of your body is used to replace the damaged tendon in your ankle).
We’ll talk with you about the type of tendon surgery that makes most sense for your ankle condition and symptoms.
Total ankle replacement (arthroplasty)
We may recommend ankle replacement surgery to treat ankle arthritis. During this joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty), we replace the damaged parts of your ankle with metal or plastic parts (prosthetics). These parts let your ankle move more naturally and help relieve pain. You’ll usually need to stay in the hospital overnight after this surgery.
Recovery After Ankle Surgery
Your care team will give you instructions about how to care for your ankle after surgery. You may need to keep your ankle still (immobilized) for at least a few weeks. This means you can’t put any weight on it. Some types of ankle surgery have a longer recovery time. You’ll need to stay off your foot for six to 12 weeks if you have ankle fusion surgery or ankle arthroplasty.
After many types of ankle surgery, you may also need to wear a cast, splint or medical boot to help with healing. And you may need to use crutches or a walker to help you stay balanced until your ankle heals.
When you can go back to your day-to-day activities depends on the type of surgery you had and how long it takes to regain strength in your foot. We may recommend physical therapy to help your ankle become more stable.
Taking the Next Step
It can be a literal pain to deal with ankle problems. You want to be able to do what you need (and want) to do without hurting. When your ankle pain doesn’t get better with other treatments, surgery may help. Cleveland Clinic providers are here to help you find relief with a highly personalized ankle surgery plan. We’ll help you put your best foot forward — pain-free.
Make an Appointment
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