When Your Ankle Injury May Require Surgery

At first, an ankle injury might not seem like a big deal. If you rolled your ankle for the first time, for example, your injury may heal at home if you give it the proper time to rest.

But there are some instances in which your ankle problem may not be able to properly heal on its own — or to heal at all. Some ankle injuries require surgery. 

Here at our FootCare Specialist, Inc. offices in San Mateo and Half Moon Bay, California, David J. Kaplan, DPM, can help you determine the proper course of treatment to help your ankle fully heal as quickly as possible. And if that means ankle surgery, Dr. Kaplan can perform the procedure for you. 

Does your ankle injury need surgery? Here are a few instances in which the answer might be yes. 


Some types of arthritis cause the cartilage, the cushioning for your ankle joint, to deteriorate. This can lead to direct bone contact that causes inflammation, joint stiffness, and pain.

If more conservative treatments haven’t alleviated your arthritic ankle pain, Dr. Kaplan offers ankle surgery to bring you relief and restore your mobility. There are two types of ankle surgery for arthritis:

Ankle fusion surgery

During fusion surgery, Dr. Kaplan removes cartilage between the bones of your ankle and then mechanically connects the bones using plates and screws.

This prevents movement in your ankle joint, but that rarely affects your ability to walk. Since there’s no more bone-on-bone contact resulting from joint movement, ankle fusion puts a stop to your pain.

Total ankle replacement surgery

During your ankle replacement, Dr. Kaplan replaces the load-bearing surfaces of the ankle joint with metal prosthetics. He places a plastic liner between the prosthetics that provides a low-friction surface on which the prosthetics can easily slide, preserving normal ankle motion. 

Chronic ankle instability

Repeatedly rolling your ankle could mean the ligaments in your ankle are stretched or torn in a way your body cannot heal. With ankle surgery, Dr. Kaplan can correct the issue in your ankle, helping to prevent future sprains. 

Broken bones and fractures

While your body can grow bone back together, it’s critical that the bone lines up precisely as it heals. Some breaks and fractures require surgery to reposition the bone, so your body’s healing process leaves you with a fully functioning, pain-free ankle. 

Ligament and tendon ruptures

If the tissue in your ankle tears, you may require surgery to reconnect the ligament or tendon. 

There are quite a few instances in which you need surgery for your ankle to fully, correctly heal. Whenever they could address the injury, Dr. Kaplan always explores more conservative treatment options with you first. But when you need ankle surgery, he’s here with his extensive expertise. 

To find out what you need to get a healthy, pain-free ankle, call either of our offices or book your appointment online today. 

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