Ankle Surgeon Perth

Answering the most commonly googled questions about ankle surgery

Like many people, you might often use Google to find answers or information, definitely when you are worried about your health. As a Perth ankle surgeon, I frequently hear similar queries during consultations. In today's blog, I’ll share the five most common questions about ankle surgery that not only pop up in Google searches but also come up often in my rooms here at The Foot & Ankle Centre in Perth. I'll provide clear, straightforward answers to each of these frequently asked questions.

Ankle surgeon Perth

Most googled ankle surgery-related questions

#1 “Do you need surgery for torn ligaments in ankle?”

When you have a torn ligament in your ankle, we will look at the severity of the injury. Ankle ligament tears are generally categorised into 3 grades.

  • Grade 1 is a mild tear or stretch, causing minor discomfort but no significant strength or ligament loss
  • Grade 2 is a moderate tear, causing ligament loss and decreased function
  • Grade 3 is a complete tear, resulting in instability in the ankle joint

Grade 1 and 2 ligament tears require attention but surgery wouldn’t be recommended as a first treatment option. Instead, we will introduce RICE, which means rest, ice, compression and elevation to reduce swelling, support the ankle and restore function. Physiotherapy and a brace may also be recommended at this stage.

“If none of these first-line treatments help, we may look into ankle surgery, but typically this is not necessary for a grade 1 or grade 2 tear.”

A/Prof Dr Gerard Hardisty - The Foot & Ankle Centre
A/Prof Dr Gerard Hardisty
Ankle Surgeon Perth

Ankle surgery is usually recommended for grade 3 tears. What type of surgery you’ll have will depend on the specific ligament that is involved and the extent of the injury. Common procedures include ligament repair or reconstruction.

#2 “Does fractured ankle need surgery?”

If you’ve broken your ankle, you might be wondering if you need surgery. Well, it really depends on the fracture. Some ankle fractures affect only one bone and remain undisplaced might not need surgery. Others involve multiple bones and ligaments. Xrays and sometimes a CT or MRI scans can clarify this.

“Simple fractures can often be treated with a cast or brace. But if the break has caused the bones to move out of place a lot, or if the ankle is unstable or has multiple fractures, then surgery might be necessary.”

A/Prof Dr Gerard Hardisty - The Foot & Ankle Centre
A/Prof Dr Gerard Hardisty
Ankle Surgeon Perth

Whether you have ankle surgery or not, the goal is the same: to get your ankle working properly again and prevent future breaks. Keeping your bones healthy, wearing appropriate footwear and being careful with your activities will help a lot in the long run.

#3 “How much does ankle surgery cost Australia?”

Great question and unfortunately it’s not just a single price tag. When it comes to ankle surgery, multiple providers are involved, not just the ankle surgeon.

Here’s a list of other providers you need to take into account when it comes to the cost of ankle surgery:

  • Anaesthetist’s fees: Most anaesthetists charge gaps between $250 and $1000. They’ll talk to you about these costs before your surgery.
  • Assistant’s fee: The doctor who is assisting the ankle surgeon might charge an additional $100 to $350.
  • Hospital bed and theatre costs: if you have private health insurance, you’ll mostly pay your excess. But some orthopaedic procedures might not be covered in your policy so it’s good to check before booking your surgery.
  • Pathology and radiology: These are blood tests and images taken during your hospital stay and might cost extra.
  • Implants and prosthesis: Most of these are covered by insurance, but you should confirm with your insurer before the surgery.

If you have health insurance, it can make a big difference. Insurance might cover a large part of the bill, but you’ll need to check how much your plan actually pays for. Every insurance plan is different.

#4 “How long does ankle surgery take to recover?”

Recovering from ankle surgery takes time and how long it takes will vary from a few weeks to several months. How fast you recover can depend on your age, overall health, and the type of surgery you had.

On my website, simply click on the various types of ankle surgeries listed, and you’ll find detailed updates on the recovery process for each one:

The best thing you can do for your ankle to recover well is to follow our instructions, don’t rush things, and definitely keep up with your physiotherapy. That’s super important for getting your ankle strength and movement back on track.

#5 “Does ankle surgery hurt?”

Ankle surgery, like any surgery, can be uncomfortable, but don’t worry too much about the pain. During the operation, you’ll be under anaesthesia, so you sleep through the procedure.

“After you’ve had ankle surgery, it’s pretty common to feel some discomfort or pain. But the good news is, you won’t be left to deal with it on your own. We will provide you with different ways to manage the pain – this could be medication or other techniques.”

A/Prof Dr Gerard Hardisty - The Foot & Ankle Centre
A/Prof Dr Gerard Hardisty
Ankle Surgeon Perth

Everyone’s experience with post-ankle surgery pain is different, but following our advice and taking medications as prescribed really helps. Also, many patients find that the pain gets much better as they heal. In the long run, the ankle surgery often leads to significant pain relief and improved ankle function.

The Foot and Ankle Centre Perth

Why The Foot & Ankle Centre in Perth?

With more than 25 years of experience focusing just on foot and ankle surgeries, The Foot & Ankle Centre is your go-to place in Perth.

“Whether you’re a top athlete or someone dealing with everyday chronic pain, we get what you’re going through. We’re really passionate about helping you get back to a full, active life.”

A/Prof Dr Gerard Hardisty - The Foot & Ankle Centre
A/Prof Dr Gerard Hardisty
Ankle Surgeon Perth

You are welcome to make an appointment at The Foot & Ankle Centre. We try to see patients as quickly as possible.

Why choose a specialised foot and ankle clinic?

Selecting a specialised foot and ankle clinic such as The Foot & Ankle Centre here in Perth ensures you’re seen by experts exclusively trained in this area. This improves the accuracy of diagnoses and the effectiveness of treatments. Our focus is on providing the most suitable and effective treatment options, both surgical and non-surgical, tailored to your unique needs, ensuring optimal recovery and long-term foot and ankle health.

Is it possible I won't need orthopaedic surgery?

Absolutely! It is always a possibility that you may not need surgery. Many foot and ankle conditions can be treated effectively using non-surgical methods, such as physical therapy, orthotic devices, medication for pain and inflammation, rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

What to expect during my first 

During your first consultation, expect a thorough examination of your foot/ankle, a review of your medical history, and a discussion of your symptoms and concerns. Diagnostic imaging may be done to aid in diagnosis and creating an effective treatment plan.