How Long Does Recovery from Ankle Instability Surgery Last?

Shortly after the procedure, the patient's foot will be in a plaster cast below the knee, and they will be sent home once they are comfortable. They will have to go to follow-up appointments and may be prescribed medication to manage the pain and discomfort. The patient will usually be referred to a physiotherapist who will develop a personalized rehabilitation program.

During the first several weeks, the patient will have to:

  • elevate their foot as much as possible to reduce swelling
  • move around only when they need to, such as to use the toilet without putting weight on the operated leg
  • take anti-inflammatory medication for approximately 6 weeks after the surgery

After 2 to 4 weeks, they will be given a boot to immobilize their foot and start partially bearing weight using crutches. Subsequently, after roughly 6 weeks from the procedure, the patient may still have to use the boot, but they will generally be able to fully bear weight and wear their usual shoes.

As for returning to work, this will highly depend on the nature of their work and how fast they recover. Usually, if the patient's job involves sitting down most of the time, they should be able to return after 2 weeks. However, if their job entails manual work, they may need to take between 8 and 10 weeks off.