Chronic ankle instability usually develops following an ankle sprain that has not adequately healed or was not rehabilitated completely. When you sprain your ankle, the connective tissues (ligaments) are stretched or torn. The ability to balance is often affected. Proper rehabilitation is needed to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and “retrain” the tissues within the ankle that affect balance. Failure to do so may result in repeated ankle sprains.
Repeated ankle sprains often cause – and perpetuate – chronic ankle instability. Each subsequent sprain leads to further weakening (or stretching) of the ligaments, resulting in greater instability and the likelihood of developing additional problems in the ankle
Treatment of ankle fractures depends upon the type and severity of the injury. At first, the foot and ankle surgeon will want you to follow the
Rest: Stay off the injured ankle. Walking may cause further injury.
Ice: Apply an ice pack to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and the skin. Use ice for 20 minutes and then wait at least 40 minutes before icing again.
Compression: An elastic wrap should be used to control swelling.
Elevation: The ankle should be raised slightly above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
Additional treatment options include:
Immobilization. Certain fractures are treated by protecting and restricting the ankle and foot in a cast or splint. This allows the bone to heal.
Prescription medications. To help relieve the pain, the surgeon may prescribe pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs.
When is Surgery Needed?
For some ankle fractures, surgery is needed to repair the fracture and other soft tissue related injuries, if present. The Orthopedic surgeon will select the procedure that is appropriate for your injury.
Following an ankle injury it is important to have the ankle evaluated by a Podiatrist or Orthopedic surgeon for proper diagnosis and treatment.
If you are unable to do so right away, go to the emergency room and then follow up with a Podiatrist or Orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible for a more thorough assessment.
The affected limb will be examined by the Podiatrist or Orthopedic surgeon by touching specific areas to evaluate the injury. In addition, the surgeon may order x-rays and other imaging studies, as necessary.
What is Ankle Instability
Ankle instability is a condition characterized by a recurring “giving way” of the outer (lateral) side of the ankle.
This condition often develops after repeated ankle sprains. Usually the “giving way” occurs while walking or doing other activities, but it can also happen when you’re just standing.
Many athletes, as well as others, suffer from chronic ankle instability.