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Bunion Clinic

Lateral Ligament Instability

Post-Op Guide


Lateral Ligament Instability


Lateral Ligament Stabilisation – arthroscopic or open

Post operative orders:

Plaster backslab 2 weeks – this is applied in the OR. Leave intact – please do not remove. Keep clean and dry at all times.
Elevate: as much as possible
Ice: at least 3 times per day 20 mins on, 20 mins off (ice should not be directly contacting skin or dampen the plaster)


Please keep the wounds with any dressings applied at the time of surgery clean and dry and intact.
The dressings will be changed at the time of first review in the office, 10-14 days post surgery.
Signs of infection: increased redness, swelling, malodorous discharge or persistent wound ooze, feeling unwell, fever. If these occur please contact the office straight away.

Weight bearing Status:

0-2 weeks: Non weight bearing with crutches/knee scooter and limit time on foot

2-6 weeks: Partial WB to WBAT in CAM Boot


Casts and boots and strong pain medications can interfere with your ability to drive.
You must be able to safely operate the vehicle including the accelerator, brake and clutch pedals at all times and respond appropriately in the event of an emergency.
When safely weight bearing without crutches; Minimum 6-8 weeks if the driving foot was operated on.

DVT (Deep Venous Thrombosis or blood clots) prophylaxis:

100mg aspirin daily whilst NWB 2 weeks OR other anticoagulation as prescribed


First 2 weeks: No exercises of foot/ankle whilst in plaster. May do knee ROM, core strengthening, upper body, toe stretches.
2-6 weeks: may commence ankle ROM
NO inversion or combined plantarflexion/inversion

Commence physiotherapy:

6-8 weeks: ankle brace when walking, commencing activities e.g.stationery bike, swimming, non impact cardio.
8-12 weeks: wean brace; stationery bike, swimming, non impact cardio, proprioception, motion and strengthening program.

Pain medication:

Strong pain medication may be prescribed on discharge from hospital. In general this will not be required for >1 week. It is important to take pain relief as required to stay comfortable post surgery.
Change to simple pain medication when the pain has reduced e.g. panadol/ panadeine.
No Alcohol or driving whilst taking strong pain medication. Narcotics eg Endone are not prescribed in the office.


Expected to decrease when elevated and gradually decrease over time. Swelling may persistent or be intermittent for up to 2 years post surgery.

Return to Sports:

Determined by injury/surgery/recovery.
Wear brace for situations at risk for up to 1 year.


It is usually safe to travel short distances on a plane or car 1 week after surgery.
You may experience increased swelling therefore try and keep the limb elevated.
It is more difficult to get around the airport and plane. You will need assistance.
If there is any concern regarding DVT then air travel or long car travel is not advised. In general long haul flights should be avoided for at least 3 months post surgery.
Please take usual precautions for healthy travel such as elevation of the limb, regular movements of the limb and moving around the cabin, stay well hydrated and avoiding alcohol. Additional DVT prophylaxis may be required.
Please discuss any travel plans prior to your surgery.

Follow up:

2 weeks – Office for wound review. Removal of sutures. Commence weight bearing in CAM Boot, wear boot when sleeping.
6 weeks – Xray, wean Cam Boot, wear ankle brace
12 weeks – Review


Please contact the office (during working hours) or attend your nearest Emergency Department with any concerns e.g. increased leg swelling despite elevation for 30 mins, pain in calf, chest pain, shortness of breath, wound ooze, increasing pain despite pain relief.