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Dr. Hibbitts
Ankle Surgeon

Dallas & Sunnyvale, Texas
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Ankle Stabilization Surgery
Common Ankle Pain Symptoms
Ankle Fracture Repair Surgery
Ankle Ligament Surgery
Ankle Cartilage Repair Surgery
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Ankle Surgeon, Dallas & Sunnyvale | Fractures, Ligament, & Cartilage Surgery

Ankle pain? Maybe you need an ankle surgeon in Dallas, Texas. Ankle pain can result from various issues including ankle sprains, ankle injuries, or even ankle arthritis. If you're in need of an ankle surgeon in Dallas, Texas, consider an orthopaedic surgeon with special training in foot and ankle surgery. These professionals are the best choice to assess your condition and prescribe a remedy.

No matter why your ankle hurts, an orthopedic surgeon with special training in ankles is the best choice to assess your condition and prescribe a remedy.

At Sunnyvale Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery Center, we work to resolve your joint pain and restore your range of motion, returning you to everyday activities and the lifestyle you love. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Hibbitts will evaluate your ankle condition and determine whether surgery is right for you. This might include ankle fusion, ankle replacement surgery, or a different course of treatment based on your unique needs.

Meet Dr. John M. Hibbitts, Texas Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. John Hibbitts is a Texas board-certified orthopedic surgeon who has worked to fix ankle instability since 1994. He specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and restoration of sports injuries and chronic joint ailments in patients of all ages – especially problems in the shoulder, hip, knee, ankles, and ankle bones.  

Dr. Hibbitts has practiced in South Carolina for more than a decade. Now establishing himself as a top ankle surgeon in the Dallas area, he brings his 20+ years of expertise to a convenient Sunnyvale location.  

Serving Sunnyvale & Dallas Communities

Dr. Hibbitts and Sunnyvale Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center proudly extend exemplary quality and personalized services to the Sunnyvale and greater Dallas communities.  

  • We accept TRICARE insurance and proudly serve active duty and retired military service personnel.  
  • We accept payments from worker’s compensation claims from Texas employers.  
  • We welcome athletes, coaches, faculty, and staff from Sunnyvale Independent School District and Rowlett School District. 
  • We offer discounts for emergency personnel: law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders.  

A top ankle surgeon near Dallas (in Sunnyvale, Texas). Visit our convenient Central Texas location, near I-635 and Hwy 80.  

Ankle Stabilization Surgery

Ankle Fracture, Ligament, & Cartilage Repair

“Ankle stabilization surgery” involves a range of procedures designed to repair and restore damaged ankle bones and tissues. Depending on the nature of your ankle injuries – from broken bones to ligament damage – the type of surgery used to treat ankle instability is determined by the specific part of your ankle that has sustained damage.

Anatomy of the Ankle

The ankle is a complex jointconnecting the leg to the foot. It is actually two joints, where several small bones meet. Disease or injury can cause damage to any structure in the ankle, leading to long-term mobility problems and pain.

Ankle Joints

The “ankle” includes:  

  • True ankle joint: The “top joint,” allowing up-and-down foot movement. 
  • Subtalar joint: The “bottom joint,” allowing side-to-side foot movement.

Bones in the Ankle Joints

Bones in the true ankle joint:  

  • Tibia: The “shinbone”. Forms the inside portion of the ankle 
  • Fibula: Forms the “side” or “back” portion of the ankle.  
  • Talus: Forms the “bottom” portion of the ankle joint 

Bones in the subtalar joint:  

  • Talus: Forms the “top” portion of the joint 
  • Calcaneus: Forms the “bottom” portion of the joint    

A “broken ankle” is a fracture or dislocation in one or more of these bones.  

Ankle Ligaments

Major ligaments in the ankle joints:  

  • Anterior tibiofibular ligament (ATFL): Connects the tibia and the fibula 
  • Lateral collateral ligaments: Connect the fibula to the calcaneus (provides lateral stability).  
  • Deltoid ligaments: Connect the talus to the calcaneus (provide medial stability).  

Ankle Cartilage

Articular cartilage covers the ends of bones, protecting them from friction and impact against neighboring tissues. The cartilage lines all the bones in the ankle and is important for providing a full range of back-and-forth, up-and-down, and side-to-side motions. These thin layers of cartilage can wear down over time or with multiple injuries.  

Ankle Tendons

Major tendons in the ankle include:  

  • Achilles tendon 
  • Flexor hallicus longus 
  • Flexor digitorum 
  • Peroneal tendons 
  • Anterior & posterior tibialis tendons 

When injury or long-term wear and tear causes damage to these ankle structures, have an ankle instability specialist like Dr. Hibbitts take a look at your specific case. Surgery may be the best solution for your symptoms. He’ll get you all squared away and back to running around in no time. 

Common Ankle Pain Symptoms

Reasons for Ankle Stabilization Surgery

Whatever the cause of your ankle pain, if you suffer from any of the following symptoms, discuss with a local ankle surgeon (serving Dallas and nearby Sunnyvale, Texas) whether ankle stabilization surgery is right for you.  

  • Tenderness 
  • Swelling 
  • Limited range of motion & impingement 
  • Popping, clicking, or other noise in the joint 
  • Inability to bear weight in the joint 
  • Severe pain that spreads up the leg to the knee or down into the foot 

The right ankle impingement surgery can alleviate or reduce chronic ankle pain and ongoing symptoms.  

Ankle Fracture Repair Surgery

When one of the bones in the ankle sustains a blow or excessive pressure, the bone structure can fail, causing a “break” or fracture in the ends of bones, near the joint. In addition to being painful, many breaks do not fully heal without surgery to suture or reattach the damaged structures.  

The best way to diagnose an ankle fracture is by examining the joint on an X-ray or another imaging test. Dr. Hibbitts may order these tests to determine the type and placement of your ankle fracture. As an ankle fracture repair surgeon with more than 20 years of experienceDr. Hibbitts can determine the right kind of surgery for your broken ankle.  


Surgery allows the doctor to reposition the bones or remove small pieces that might impair healing. Most ankle fracture repair surgery involves an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure, during which the doctor makes an incision to examine the fracture, repositions damaged bones, and attaches them using metal plates or screws. This stabilizes the joint so the bones can re-fuse at the fracture and heal completely. 

Post-surgery ankle stabilization may require a cast or boot.

Ankle Ligament Surgery

Ligaments connect bones and can suffer injuries from overwork, stress and excessive pressure, twisting, or hyper-extension. Ankle ligament surgery may fix your ankle instability. Even if you do not experience a sudden trauma, the ankle ligaments can wear out over time and with multiple minor sprains. A knowledgeable ankle ligament surgeon can determine which type of surgery is right for your specific ankle pain.  

Ankle Ligament Reconstruction & Ankle Ligament Tightening

Ankle ligament repair surgery, sometimes called “ankle ligament reconstruction surgery” and “ankle ligament tightening,” can involve any ligament in the ankle.  


If your ankle begins to roll to the side frequently or if extending your foot brings you pain or a sensation of pressure, your ligaments may be damaged. When these stabilizing tissues are overstretched or torn, they no longer hold the foot bones in place correctly. An ankle ligament tightening procedure may correct this.  

The surgeon makes small incisions to reattach and tighten the ligaments. This can include removing damaged tissue, drilling small holes in the bones, and using a portion of donor ligament tissue to graft and suture any damaged ligaments in place.  

Most ankle ligament repair surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure. 

Ankle Ligament Surgery Success Rate

Ankle ligament surgery success rate is very high. As many as 95% of patients report full recovery after surgery. For the best chance of success after your ankle ligament repair surgery, proper aftercare is essential.   

Ankle Cartilage Repair Surgery

About John M. Hibbitts, M.D., Texas Board-Certified Joint Replacement Surgeon

Dr. Hibbitts is an orthopedic surgeon who completed his medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 2000. He has extensive training in Sports Medicine and hundreds of hours in experience as a joint replacement surgeon. His medical practice especially involves hip and knee surgeries that correct joint instability and re-instate full use and movement to your leg.


Microfracture/Bone Marrow Stimulation Surgery:

A minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, highly successful for small osteochondral injuries. Using small incisions and a specialized surgical camera, Dr. Hibbitts removes damaged cartilage and drills small holes into the bone, encouraging the formation of fibrocartilage.

Cartilage Transplant & Graft:

Using donor tissue from the patient’s body or cadaver tissue, Dr. Hibbitts repairs and replaces damaged cartilage tissue to restore function to the ankle joint. 

Ankle Surgeon (for Dallas & Sunnyvale) Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Hibbitts is an orthopedic surgeon who completed his medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 2000. He has extensive training in Sports Medicine and hundreds of hours in experience as a joint replacement surgeon. His medical practice especially involves hip and knee surgeries that correct joint instability and re-instate full use and movement to your leg.

How Long Does Ankle Stabilization Surgery Last?

In studies of patients with ankle cartilage repair surgery, more than 85% reported that they could return to a pain-free life and resume normal activities after surgery.   

One study followed up with patients more than ten years after ankle ligament reconstruction surgery to fix their ankle instability, finding long-term results to be excellent – even for amateur and professional athletes. Patients reported full use and mobility in their ankle, and imaging tests showed full healing. 

How Long Does Ankle Stabilization Surgery Take?

Typically, the different procedures to fix ankle instability take about one hour to perform. An extensive ankle cartilage repair that requires a transplant, or a complex ankle fracture repair surgery may take three to four hours.  

What are Some Possible Complications of Ankle Impingement Surgery?

Most surgery patients experience few or no complications after ankle stabilization surgery; however, all surgery comes with risks:  

  • Infection: The risk is around 1%. Usually treatable with antibiotics. 
  • Further instability: About 5% risk that the procedure will not restore your full health and range of motion. Most patients who follow the treatment plan recover fully.  
  • Nerve damage: Less than 5% risk of damage to small nerves in the joint  
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT):  Less than 3% of patients experience DVT. This risk is mitigated with prescription blood thinners and post-surgery physical therapy. Exercise reduces blood clotting and ankle weakness. 

Follow the recommendations from our ankle surgeon (local to Dallas & Sunnyvale) to minimize your post-surgical complications. 

How Long Does It Take to Recover After Ankle Surgery?

After ankle stabilization surgery, you may need to use crutches to assist your mobility and prevent you from overstressing the healing ankle for the first four to six weeks.  

The following four to six weeks, you may need to use a stabilizing boot. Even after being able to place your foot in a regular shoe, an ankle brace might be recommended for continued support.  

Around four weeks into healing, you may begin a series of physical therapy exercises and other treatments, customized to help you overcome your specific problems and promote full healing in your foot, leg, and ankle joint. 

About John Hibbitts, M.D.

More About John Hibbitts, M.D. | Ankle Surgeon. Dallas & Sunnyvale, Texas

After Dr. Hibbitts completed his B.S. in exercise physiology at the University of Texas at Austin, he earned his medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Hibbitts then completed his residency at the University of South Carolina Department of Orthopedic Surgery and a fellowship with the Cincinnati Sportsmedicine and Orthopedic Center.

Since 2000, he has helped hundreds of patients regain a pain-free life and is particularly experienced as an ankle ligament surgeonankle fracture repair surgeon, and ankle cartilage repair surgeon, with expertise in cartilage transplants.  

Dr. Hibbitts is a member of these professional medical organizations:  

  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons 
  • American Medical Association 
  • South Carolina Medical Association 
  • Texas Medical Association 

A father of three children and an athlete, Dr. Hibbitts participates in Jiu Jitsu, karate, rugby, and bodybuilding during his free time. He also enjoys competitive marksmanship.  

Dr. Hibbitts aims for a solid reputation as a top ankle surgeon near Dallas, Texas. He is the founder of the Sunnyvale Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center in 2021. 

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