foot anatomy dr. thomas mcdonald hartford

The Brostrum Procedure For Treating Chronic Ankle Sprains

Your ankle joint is stabilized by supportive ligaments on either side, and these ligaments are typically what are injured during a standard ankle sprain. With the help of physical therapy and other active treatments, these ankle ligaments tend to heal well, but even minor ligament injuries can really affect the stability of the ankle. If these ligaments are regularly stressed or torn, it can lead to chronic ankle instability, which only puts you at further risk of another harmful sprain or fracture.

If you’re dealing with chronic ankle instability and standard conservative techniques can no longer help the ligaments heal as needed, your doctor may recommend a minimally invasive surgical procedure to strengthen the ligaments. One effective method is the Brostrum Ligament Reconstruction operation. We take a closer look at the procedure and its benefits in today’s blog.

How The Brostrum Procedure Is Performed

The Brostrum procedure is designed to help restabilize the ankle joint by artificially strengthening the supportive ankle ligaments. More specifically, the technique targets the lateral ankle ligaments on the outside of your ankle joint.

To begin the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision on the outside of the ankle. The surgeon then identifies the anterior talofibular ligament and then tightens it by cutting it and repairing it with strong non-absorbable sutures. If necessary, the same method is then used on the calcaneofibular ligament. In some cases, fibular anchors may be inserted to help strengthen the site.

Most patients who undergo this procedure experience major stability increases in their ankle, and the procedure has also been shown to be successful even if you’ve been dealing with chronic ankle stability for years. Not only does joint stability improve, but most patients also notice functional improvements after they finish their post-op physical therapy exercises. Some soreness and swelling is expected as you progress through recovery, but those can be managed with ice, pain medications and strength training exercises.

After surgery, you will likely be non-weight bearing on that ankle for six weeks while healing runs its course. Rehabilitation typically begins six weeks after surgery to ensure enough healing has taken place for you to safely bear weight and strengthen the area with exercise. The goal of physical therapy after the Brostrum procedure will be to increase your:

  • Strength
  • Range of motion
  • Flexibility
  • Proprioception (your body’s ability to recognize its location in space).

You’ll notice some immense improvements after just a few short weeks of physical therapy, but it’s worth noting that a return to intense physical activity can take anywhere from 4-6 months. We’ll be there to guide you every step of the way!

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