Updated: Jul 29, 2020
A new procedure will get you back on your feet sooner when dealing with a high-ankle sprain.
High ankle sprains are common injuries in sports and are notorious for their lengthy recovery process. Sports aficionados typically hate hearing those words when one of their favorite players is diagnosed with that term. A new innovation, however, known as the Tightrope procedure drastically cuts healing time, getting patients back on their feet faster than ever. What’s more, you don’t need to be a professional athlete to have the procedure done even if the news about the procedure has been highlighted fairly recently.
Case in point, the high profile injury of University of Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa brought this operation into the limelight. After suffering from a high ankle sprain in the SEC Championship game in 2018, Tagavailoa underwent the Tightrope procedure and was back on the field a mere 28 days after sustaining the injury. Whereas the injury typically requires anywhere from six to eight weeks to several months of rest, he was able to resume strength training just two weeks after the procedure.
When a high ankle sprain occurs, ligaments and tissues around the leg bones, known as the tibia and fibula, are loosened and become unstable. The tightrope offers an alternative to the traditional methods of treatment: rest and rehabilitation or in some cases, the insertion of screws to bond the leg bones. In the Tightrope procedure, surgeons slip a high-strength suture through small holes in the bone, fasten it with small metal buttons and then tighten it as you would a zip tie. The procedure only takes about 25 minutes
The distinctive advantages of the Tightrope procedure allows for a substantially quicker recovery time, while offering a durable restoration of ankle stability, motion and function.
We see a lot of these types of injuries with the weekend warriors and numerous athletes in the area.
If you suffer an ankle injury, be sure to apply the RICE method (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) and get to your podiatrist for evaluation, x-rays and diagnosis to see if this is the right procedure for you.