What Is Ankle Instability?

Ankle stability and strength play an important role in balance. That stability and strength decline with aging, which put us at greater risk for sprains and falls. If your ankle “goes out on you” you may have a condition known as chronic ankle instability. Repeated ankle sprains contribute to this chronic condition.

Indications of ankle instability include:
» Ankle pain and tenderness
» Frequent or persistent swelling
» Weak or wobbling feeling ankle
» A repeated twisting or turning of the ankle when walking on uneven surfaces

The stress and twisting of the ligaments in your ankle over the years, especially when you have suffer one or more severe sprains, causes these connective tissues to tear and stretch. This deterioration results in reduced strength and stability over time. Your balance is often affected. Strengthening the muscles and tissues that support the ankle can improve stability and balance.

It can become a perpetuating cycle-ankle sprain, more damage, reduced stability, leads to another sprain and so on. Repeated injury can also lead to arthritis and other conditions.

How Is Ankle Instability Treated?

Your podiatrist at Ryan Foot and Ankle Clinic will evaluate your ankle and discuss any previous ankle injuries and instability. They will check your ankle for tenderness, swelling, and instability. X-rays or other imaging may be used to further evaluate your ankle. After a thorough examination and diagnosis, your foot and ankle surgeon will recommend a treatment plan.

Non-surgical treatment options include:
» Physical therapy
» Anti-inflammatories
» Ankle brace

What To Expect If Surgery Is Recommended?

Based on how your ankle responds to non-surgical treatment or degree of ankle instability,your Ryan Foot and Ankle surgeon may recommend surgery. The surgical procedure will likely be reconstruction or repair of the damaged ligaments in your ankle. Your recovery can vary, depending on the surgical procedure.

If you suffer from ankle instability or would like more information about this condition, give us a call at one of our 5 local podiatry offices in Charlotte, Concord and Harrisburg today for more information or to schedule an appointment.