The need for surgery depends on the severity of the ankle sprain. Most of the time, surgery is not necessary to treat sprains. However, surgery is sometimes needed when the ankle rolls inward, which is called an inversion injury. The real qualification for surgery after a sprained ankle is whether or not there are torn ligaments or fractures. Soft tissue injuries do not typically require surgery except in very severe injuries.
Total ankle replacement surgery, also referred to as “TAR” or ankle arthroplasty, is a surgical operation used to treat patients who suffer from either traumatic arthritis or end-stage arthritis in the ankle. Ankle replacement surgery is meant to alleviate pain and sustain motion in the ankle joint which is affected by replacing the arthritic joint with a metal artificial joint. This procedure is different from another popular, but older, procedure known as ankle fusion or “ankle arthrodesis” which is used to fuse the bones together. Ankle fusion can also relieve pain, however, this procedure makes moving the joint impossible.
Minimally invasive surgery is used in many areas of medicine, including podiatry, and it has been associated with several benefits, including smaller scars, less bleeding, less tissue damage, faster healing, less discomfort during recovery, and less risk of infections and other complications. Not every patient is a good candidate for a minimally invasive surgical approach. Some types of injuries are better treated with a traditional surgical technique using a single large incision, especially when damage to the foot or ankle is more extensive or the procedure being performed requires a large incision for optimal results. Each patient is carefully evaluated prior to surgery to ensure the most appropriate technique is used to help ensure optimal outcomes based on the surgical needs and health history of each patient, as well as other factors.