I just finished the Boston marathon for the third time. I'd like to run it again but I have bone spurs in my left ankle. Sometimes the ankle is just fine. At other times it hurts and can lock up on me. My doctor has suggested surgery to remove the extra bone. How successful is this operation?

It may depend on the type of extra bone growth you have and how long they've been in your ankle. Bone spurs or a ridge of bone across the front has a good outcome. The chances of a good result are even better if the conditions has been present for less than two years.

Results may vary if you've sprained that ankle before. This is especially true if you've sprained it more than once. Damage to other areas of the joint or the presence of scar tissue can lead to chronic recurrent ankle sprains or overuse syndromes.

Most often the doctor can repair damage to any of these structures with good results. You may have to back off training at first, but you should be able to resume running and even running marathons.