I've sprained my ankle several times playing sports. My doctor thinks I may need surgery to stabilize the ankle. I'm afraid surgery will end my athletic career. Do most athletes stay active after this kind of surgery?

Though activity may drop off a little, most athletes are able to keep active after surgery to stabilize the ankle. Athletes in a recent study had two different types of ankle surgeries. In one surgery, the original ankle ligament was used. In the other, tendon was taken from the lower leg to fix the ankle.

Before surgery, athletes' activity level was a nine on a 10-point scale. Five years after surgery, the average activity level was an eight. Athletes for whom the original ankle ligament was used were able to keep a little more active than the other group. These athletes had better movement and stability in the ankle.

Talk with your doctor about your concerns. A physical therapy program after surgery may help.