Torn Foot Ligament Recovery

Torn ligaments in the foot
Torn ligaments in the foot (Image: Image by, courtesy of Matt)

Tearing a ligament in your foot is an extremely painful injury. Ligament tears usually occur from twisting your ankle. Five ligaments are commonly torn in the foot, and each has a long recovery period that includes physical therapy.

Foot Ligaments

The five most commonly torn ligaments are the anterior talo-fibular ligament, the calcaneal-fibular ligament, the posterior talo-fibular ligament, the syndesmotic ligament, and the deltoid ligament.

Causes of a Torn Foot Ligament

Torn foot ligaments are almost always caused by twisting or spraining your ankle.

Symptoms of a Torn Foot Ligament

Instability after twisting or spraining your ankle is often the first clue that you may have torn a ligament in your foot. The instability is often worse on uneven surfaces.

Recovery Time for a Torn Foot Ligament

A torn foot ligament can take anywhere from six weeks to six months to recover due to low blood flow in the ligaments. Often, arthritis will persist in the joint for an extended period of time.

Surgery for a Torn Foot Ligament

Rarely, surgery is recommended to repair a torn foot ligament. The need for surgery is based on results from an MRI of the foot. Surgery is usually recommended after physical therapy to strengthen the ankle is unsuccessful and instability is still apparent.

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