Do you ever feel like your ankles give out too often? Are you experiencing suspicious ankle pain and tenderness? If yes, then you may have chronic ankle instability.
People with chronic ankle instability usually have ankles that give out when pressure is put on them, especially during activities such as running, jogging, or walking on uneven surfaces. However, some patients’ ankles also give out when they are simply just standing.
Chronic ankle instability usually occurs because of repeated ankle sprains. Multiple ankle sprains can result in stretched-out ligaments. The issue can also arise from an ankle sprain that has not completely healed yet. A lot of athletes end up suffering due to numerous ankle sprains and tremendous pressure applied on their ankles.
Symptoms of Chronic Ankle Instability
- Patients with chronic ankle instability have ankles that usually give out, especially when walking on uneven surfaces or wearing uncomfortable footwear like high heels.
- A lot of patients feel like their ankles are usually sore after physical activities such as working out or playing sports.
- Many patients’ ankles usually experience pain ranging from extreme discomfort to just a dull prick.
- Patients may feel tenderness when their ankles are touched.
Treatment for Chronic Ankle Instability
Though chronic ankle instability can be a frustrating condition, there are various treatments to help treat it:
- Physical therapy is a form of therapy that includes exercises and treatments to strengthen the ankles and regain balance in them. These exercises also help in retraining the muscles.
- Rest is essential for someone with chronic ankle instability, even though it might be difficult for a person who loves sports to stop themselves from physical activities. However, this is required so that the ligament has time to take a break.
- Icing the ankle, when it is sore, is a good way to relax the ligament and give it immediate relief. Icing it two to three times a day can also reduce swelling. Compressing the area is another method to bring down the swelling. Combining these methods maximizes effectiveness.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen can be taken by the patient to reduce the swelling as well as the pain.
- Sometimes, a patient requires ankle braces to help strengthen the ankles and give support until they heal enough to support themselves. Bracing also prevents the ankle from turning and avoids further ankle sprains.
- In some extreme cases, if no non-surgical procedure works, surgery might be the only way to curb chronic ankle instability. The surgery involves reconstruction and repair work on the ligament, and the type of procedure depends on the severity of the case. The healing time after surgery will depend on the type of procedure that was performed.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of chronic ankle instability, schedule a consultation by contacting Advanced Spine and Orthopedics. Dr. Kevin James, a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, will examine your ankle, diagnose the issue, give you more information about the options available to you, and guide you to the best course of action.