Avera Medical Minute: Ankle stabilization surgery in Mitchell

Having foot pain or complications can make getting around, and everyday life, a lot more challenging. Foot specialists at Avera Orthopedics in Mitchell are making it easier for anyone to get the care they need.

Patient Ryan Raml is seeing Avera Podiatrist and Podiatric Surgeon Dr. Katrina Almeida.

"I was having a lot of pain in my foot and just came to see the doctor to go through the possible causes of this of the pain," Patient Ryan Raml said. "I had sprained my ankle pretty bad playing basketball when I was a little younger in high school I continually sprained it again and again multiple times after that."

For treatment, they went over all of the options together.

"In this situation when you have chronic ankle instability like Ryan did, we do physical therapy, bracing, icing, strengthening and conditioning. If those things fail, we escalate with structurally reinforcing with surgery," Dr. Almeida said.

Surgery was Ryan's best option. Earlier this fall, he underwent an ankle stabilization procedure. This was his follow-up appointment one month post-operation.

"He came in with a history of spraining it so it did give me a clue of where to start looking. It was really important to get all the areas that were bothering him so I could make sure I could address everything and the root cause, not just the symptom," Dr. Katrina Almeida said.

The biggest issue, Dr. Almeida said, was his Anterior Talofibular Ligament or ATFL.

"He had repeatedly torn it so it was a lot of scar tissue. There was tissue but it was Not healthy tissue. It was not structurally sound enough for the integrity he needed. We dissected down to those tissues and sown them back together,” Dr. Almeida said.

She said this type of injury is one of the most common.

"Lateral ankle injuries like sprains or strains, a quarter of the general population will experience these, and depending on how often or frequent, they will go on to become chronic. For the general population, More common in males in their teens and women in their 20's to 30's,” 'she said.

Ryan is happy to be on his way to recovery.

"It's gone great. I'm up walking with a boot now. Here in another month, I hope to take it to the next step," Raml said.

If he can pass along any advice, he says, don't put off an injury like this.

"You go on living your life and here it was probably 8 or 10 years ago when the first injury occurred. I sprained it again hunting, playing some basketball. Over time, it started wearing down the joint on the other side," he said. "Sometimes it's good to get some expert advice, what's going on."

For more information, visit Avera.org.