People who suffer from ankle instability typically feel like the outside of the ankle “gives way” on a regular basis. It typically occurs as the result of several sprains. The problem usually occurs when you walk or perform other activities, but it can also happen by merely standing. If you have this problem, there are several non-surgical options that may prove successful. However, if they do not work, surgery may be recommended.
Ankle instability can happen after either several sprains or after a single sprain that has not properly healed. When a sprain occurs, the ligaments, or connective tissues, either tear or stretch. As a result, you cannot balance on your feet properly. In order to strengthen the damaged ligaments and help restore balance, doctors usually recommend that patients undergo physical therapy. This helps to “re-train” the tissues and reduce the chances that further sprains will take place.
The type of treatment recommended for ankle instability will, of course, depend on the results of your examination. The amount of activity in which you typically take part will also play a role in your treatment plan. Here are some of the non-surgical options that may be available for you:
- Physical therapy –Again, this helps to strengthen the ankle to reduce the chance of further sprains taking place. It involves a variety of exercises that will help improve range of motion and balance. As your ankle gets stronger, you may also receive therapy that focuses on the particular sport or activity in which you participate regularly.
- Bracing –Your doctor may recommend an ankle brace that will provide support and keep it from turning. It could also be helpful in keeping further sprains from occurring.
- Medications –There is also a chance that you may be prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug in order to reduce inflammation as well as pain.
However, there is a chance that surgery will be needed should these more conservative options prove unsuccessful. Your doctor will recommend the type of procedure that will best address your issue, and recovery time will vary depending on what kind of surgery is performed.