Treatment methods

Torn ankle ligament: surgery only in exceptional cases

We conduct the treatment that’s right for you, based on your diagnosis. In many cases, we are able to treat the ligament tear in the ankle joint effectively using conservative treatment. Surgical treatment should only be considered for complete tears of all ligament sections and for high-performance athletes. In addition, if the joint was no longer fully stable due to previous injuries at the time the ankle was twisted, surgery may be required.

Conservative treatment methods

Conservative treatment with an ankle splint (ligament tear brace)

First, we stabilise the joint over six weeks using an ankle splint (ligament tear brace) If you no longer have any pain, you’ll even be able to put your full weight on your foot again. Otherwise, you should only apply enough weight to cause a minimal amount of pain. The ankle splint prevents twisting recurring and can reliably heal your injured ligament sections. In the first few weeks, we can also prescribe pain medication at any time.

Surgical treatment methods

Torn ankle ligament: surgery if the joint remains unstable

Up to 20% of the time there will still be instability in your joint after three months, even with intensive physiotherapy. In this case, we recommend an additional thorough examination to uncover the causes. If it turns out that your external ligament has not healed in a sufficiently stable manner, we can extend conservative treatment. Surgical stabilisation of the ligaments is another option. After surgery, your ankle joint must be immobilised in a plaster splint for two weeks. Afterwards, this can typically be changed to a stabilising bandage. In the first two weeks, you will need to take your weight off the leg that was operated on using underarm crutches. We prescribe medication to guard against thrombosis until you are able to apply your full weight in a special-made shoe.
For rare internal ligament tears and tears of the connective tissue-like bone connections (syndesmotic ligament tears), we recommend surgery immediately. The earlier this is operated on, the better the outcome will be.

Your foot needs time to heal

In most cases, ankle joint ligament injuries heal without complications. But you need to be patient. Just use your underarm crutches carefully for support in the first few days and weeks. Intensive physiotherapy and foot training will only be beneficial after your symptoms have subsided. You should then be putting more weight on your foot in stages.