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What is lateral ligament surgery?

Lateral ligament surgery, or lateral ankle ligament reconstruction, is a procedure that is performed in order to restore stability to the ankle by tightening the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.

The procedure may be recommended for patients who have weak ankle ligaments, as a result of repeated sprains or foot deformities. In cases where the ligaments on the outside of the ankle have loosened, a condition known as chronic ankle instability may develop. The condition can cause severe pain and difficulty walking. Other problems that can lead to ankle instability include plantar flexion, high arches, hind foot varus and generally loose ligaments. In cases where non-surgical treatments have been unsuccessful, Dr Narramore may recommend lateral ankle ligament reconstruction.

The procedure is generally performed under general anaesthetic and there are various surgical methods that may be used.

How does it work?

The most common technique used in lateral ligament surgery is known as the modified Brostrom procedure. During this procedure, Dr Narramore will make an incision in the ankle, allowing him to view and identify the ligaments. The ligaments are then tightened with the use of special stitches that are positioned onto the ankle bones.

In some cases, tendons are used to replace the ligaments, in which case Dr Narramore will place a tendon into the bones around the ankle. The tendon is stitched or screwed into place.

After the surgery, you will be required to wear a cast for around two to six weeks. After two weeks, you should be able to be partial weight bearing. For this reason, you may need to wear a surgical boot or brace while the ankle heals. Dr Narramore will recommend physiotherapy, which can help to strengthen the ankle and relieve some pain and swelling.

The Brostrom technique has a 95% good outcome.


Dr Chris Narramore consults and operates from the following locations: Constantiaberg Mediclinic or Sport Science Institute. Please contact his office directly to make an appointment and specify where you would like to be seen.


Room 207
Mediclinic Constantiaberg
Burnham Road
Cape Town 7800

Tel: +27 21 762 5228


Orthopaedic Sports Clinic
Sports Science Institute
Boundary Road
Cape Town 7700

Tel: +27 21 762 5228