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My grandson tore ankle ligaments playing in his school’s first football game this season. Will he require ​surgery?

“Not all ligament tears require surgery,” says Christina Walker, M.D., a board-certified physician specializing in Orthopedics-Sports Medicine at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. “In many cases, wearing an ankle brace or walking cast, in conjunction with a rehabilitation regimen, is sufficient for healing and recovery.”
Except for sprains, Dr. Walker says that torn ligaments is probably the most commonly occurring sports-related ankle injury.

“With the goal of getting patients back to their pre-injury performance levels, my treatment tends toward a more conservative, non-invasive approach, such as putting a patient in a brace or walking cast to help prevent an additional injury while the ligaments heal,” she says.

Dr. Walker says that the ankle is weakened in the immediate post-injury period and using crutches may be an option in the early stages of the patient’s recovery. Then, after an interval of rest, she usually suggests a program of physical therapy that includes exercises to strengthen and improve mobility.

“With the care and guidance of an Orthopedics-Sports Medicine specialist, your grandson should be optimistic about his recovery and may even be able to get back in the game before the season ends,” concludes Dr. Walker, who cares for patients at Kelsey-Seybold’s Kingwood Clinic, Main Campus clinic near the Texas Medical Center, and Downtown at The Shops at Houston Center.​