completely ruptured ankle tendon. Should I get surgery?

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/8/2010 10:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum, and I'm not sure which category my topic fits best in.

In October, after repeated sprains, I ruptured my peroneal brevis tendon while jogging. It connects to the calf muscles, wraps around the ankle bone, and attaches on the outside edge of the foot.

It's been 4 months. I have relatively low pain levels (varying from 0-5 on the great chart at ) right now the pain is throbbing, dull, localized and persistent.

But I'm essentially functional. I'm running 1 mile each morning (approved by both my orthopedist and phys. therapist), and I'm able to walk around, bike, nordic ski, dance of all sorts, etc. I haven't gotten to hiking and field sports yet, but I feel like they would be possible in a couple months.

The orthopedic surgeon says that I should have a peroneal reconstruction, and then also an ankle reconstruction to stabilize the ankle against future strains and trauma.

It just seems strange to me to have surgery when I'm essentially functional. Am I off mark?? What sorts of risks do I face by not getting the surgery?

I know these are hard questions. I also just want / need to talk with someone about it!!

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 2/8/2010 11:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello ankley_77! Welcome to the Chronic Pain forum! Well the first thing the members will tell you here, is that we are not Dr's. I think I would get a second opinion from a another Doctor, and again maybe a third. I have no idea what the success rate is for this type surgery, but if your Dr says that you have a good chance to injure it further if you do nothing...I believe I would take the surgery. This is my uneducated lets see what some of the other members have to say about it. We are glad that you joined our forum, and I wish you the best on your research and decision, if and when you make one. Keep checking here often, and please keep posting, as we would like to hear what the outcome is on it. Good Luck to you!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 2/8/2010 11:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ankle,

First off, welcome to the CP board. It's always nice to see new members (although not that someone else is in pain).

I'd agree with what Michael said: get a second opinion. Other than that I'd have to say "go with your gut." You know your body best & only you can feel the pain/know how much your life is effected by the injury. If it's bad enough, have the surgery done. If not & if it won't harm you to wait, then don't. Honestly, it is a decision that you & your surgeon should make together. You might ask the surgeon if there are any alternatives to surgery, like PT. Take your time & don't let anyone push you into something you don't want to do. Good luck.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 2/9/2010 5:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I concur. Get a 2nd opinion. Also talk with your physical therapist about it. S/he may be able to give you some insight into the benefits as well as potential problems from having surgery.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/9/2010 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you guys for your comments! Shortly after the MRI and diagnosis (Decemberish), I got a second opinion, but it was from a knee specialist who was in the same department as my doc and he basically just echoed what my doc said. (this is bad - even if you're in little pain now, and essentially functional, you need to have surgery)

I feel like I already used up my "get a second opinion" card. I know there's some other orthopedic surgery places in Seattle, but I feel like I should pay for it myself at this point. I guess I should call my orthopedic office, and tell them I'd like an OUTSIDE second opinion, and see what they say, huh?

thank you so much for writing back. It's awesome to have a place to express all this stuff!! And get your feedback!!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16779
   Posted 2/9/2010 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ankle and welcome to Healing Well. I am glad you found us and I hope you will hang out with us. You are having pain with that ankle so yes, you fit right in here, lol. Sorry, not laughing at your pain, just wanted to encourage you to hang out with us. 
Wow, that is some problem you have going on with that ankle to say the least. You are very fortunate be able to do the things and activities you spoke of without problems. 
From the drs standpoint, yes, I understand where he is coming from. Once you injure a part of the body are predisposed to further injury.  The area does become somewhat weak. Now, I know you are thinking but how can I do all of these activities if it is weak It's  just the mechanics of the body. Now, whether you have surgery now or later is strictly your call. You know your body better than anyone.
I would seek out an independant third opinion. By that I mean going away from having your surgeon pick the third opinion. I am talking getting a true unabiased opinion. Do you really think another dr in the same group is going to step on someone else's toes? Not hardly, that could really create a lot of problems. If this guy popped up and said oh no you don't that done can you imagine the possible repercussions, lol. Seriously, as far as I am concerned I would not view that visit as my 2nd opinion because his specialty is knees, not ankles and he is in the same group. They are eons apart. Just my two cents worth. I would not be paying out of pocket either for another opinion. That is what insurance is for to insure you get the proper care you need.
You also need to know about recuperation time, any limitations that you may in the future with your ankle. More than likely at some point arthritis will set in since there has been an injury to this foot. Take care and let us hear from you.

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/9/2010 7:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Ankley,
I also want to welcome you to the chronic pain forum of HW, but am not glad that you have pain, just that you found us.

You've already been given some great advice by Straydog and she's right on about the second opinion. It should be independent. If you're thinking your insurance won't pay for a "third" you can call them and ask, but often it may not cost a lot if you take all your tests, etc. with you to an independent place. A teaching hospital might be a good place. Since you seem to want to continue being active in sports, you maybe need people who specialize in that area.

Surgery is always a tough call. And unless it's an emergency you have time to get another set of eyes to look at it. I'd try to research teaching hospitals in your region (yes, you may have to travel a bit) and then research doctors within their system who specialize with this type of diagnosis or as close as possible. Not another knee person!

Good luck!


New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/9/2010 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   
You guys are great, and super helpful!! I'm actually near the UW hospital, which I think is a teaching hospital. I'm not sure how to tap into their system, but I'm sure it's nothing that a little web surfing and phoning around can't solve. And I think there's other orthopedic specialty businesses in the area, too.

It feels very last-minute to me. Because I had presented my doc with my apprehension 3 weeks ago, and I was "testing" out my ankle functionality until now, it's sort of like I need to make this decision NOW. The surgery is in 3 weeks, and if I want to postpone it, the doc asked me to please do so sooner than later, so they can fill the spot with another patient. I know getting office visits with these docs can be a long, slow process. :-( Even a phone consultation would suffice, but I just don't know how to get in touch with those ankle specialists across the state.

I've started keeping a pain journal, based on the pain level chart at And I feel like I'll keep the surgery date, because I'm 80% decided to go through with it. I'll try to get a second opinion in the meantime, and assume that they will agree with my doc. If I get any strongly contradictory advice in the meantime, I guess I can always pull out?

thanks again,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 2/9/2010 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ankley, you will find it hard to get a 2nd opinion in that space of time frm a specialist so I'd try a sports physio or podiatrist that deals with sports injuries. Best of luck, golitho

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/11/2010 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks. I'm uncertain enough about the operation, that I'm thinking of asking to postpone the surgery for 2-3 months so I have time to get 1-2 other really good second opinions, and do some more phys. therapy to see how much functionality I can get from it.

March is an opportune time for the surgery, considering other things in my life. Part of me is saying, "just do it! trust your doctor, take your time to heal, and stop agonizing over this decision!"

arg ...
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