Tightrope surgery is often recommended for athletes because it can shorten rehabilitation time, according to the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics.
The TightRope, a trademarked device created by Arthrex, uses a fixation plate, surgical screws, a guidewire, an oblong TightRope button and a TightRope cord.
According to Resurgens, the surgeon will access the joint through an incision on the outer side of the ankle. After removing or stabilizing any loose bone fragments, they will realign the tibia and fibula, if needed.
The surgeon will then attach the fixation plate to the fibula using surgical screws. This stabilizes the bone.
After drilling a tunnel through both bones, the surgeon will guide an oblong TightRope button, threaded with the TightRope cord, through the tunnel.
As the surgeon tightens the cord, it pulls a second metal button against the fixation plate on the fibula. All this is secured by tying a knot in the cord.
Recovery from tightrope surgery takes, on average, six to eight weeks.