One of the most surprising and painful things that can happen while standing, walking, running, or participating in any other activity on your feet is having your ankle give way or roll to the side. You will likely trip or stumble when the ankle joint does not align with the rest of the foot and leg that connects to it. If the rolling is terrible enough, you may suffer an ankle sprain.
Anyone who has ever sustained an ankle sprain, especially in the lateral ankle ligaments, will know that the result can be excruciating, and the symptoms can last for a while. However, when a person has recurring ankle sprains in the lateral ligaments, that can result in more severe consequences, including chronic ankle instability.
Your ankle joint is meant to be relatively moveable and flexible, but it also needs to provide you with stability. Sprained ankles can be a severe and inconvenient condition to deal with. Unfortunately, they often result in reduced stability for your ankle joint, which may require physical therapy or even surgery provided by an experienced foot surgeon such as ours at Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute.
What Is Chronic Ankle Instability?
Chronic ankle instability is a medical condition in which the lateral ankle area regularly gives way. It often occurs when an individual engages in some physical activity or sporting event, but it can also happen when they are simply standing. Many people suffer from chronic ankle instability, which can severely impact their ankle ligaments over time if not diagnosed and treated by professional ankle surgeons.
Signs of Instability in Your Ankles
Those who have had chronic ankle instability diagnosed will often deal with the following symptoms of the condition:
- Recurring turning of the ankle, most especially when actively engaging in sports or walking on uneven surfaces
- Discomfort and swelling that is persistent
- Feeling wobbly or having an unstable ankle
If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may be suffering from chronic ankle instability. Chronic ankle instability is often the result of repeated ankle sprains, so you should contact your doctor to discuss your medical issue if you regularly roll your ankle. It is highly recommended that you consult your situation with a medical professional to get the proper treatment for the condition.
How Do Repeated Ankle Sprains Relate to Ankle Instability?
The weaker your ankle ligaments are from multiple prior ankle sprains, the more likely you will sustain another ankle injury. A repeated turning of the ankle or ankle sprains will result in weakened or stretched-out ligaments. It is a vicious cycle of ankle instability caused by recurrent ankle sprains that can only be remedied through the intercession of a medical professional such as ours at Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute.
When Should You Consult a Doctor about an Ankle Sprain?
Although an ankle sprain may not seem like the most severe condition or require medical treatment (many people opt for using the R.I.C.E. method), multiple ankle sprains will undoubtedly have a negative impact on your life, including the development of ankle instability.
You should consult with a medical professional whenever you incur an ankle sprain. You may not need foot and ankle surgeons just yet, but discussing the situation with a doctor will ensure that you don’t have more severe underlying issues. A diagnosis (including x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging) might result in fewer future injuries.
Treatments for Chronic Ankle Instability
As with every medical condition, our foot and ankle surgeons at Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute will begin your ankle instability treatment with non-invasive, conservative, non-surgical treatment options. We will base our treatment decisions on physical examination, tests, and activity level. The most common treatments for ankle instability include:
- Physical therapy to strengthen the ankle, improve balance, retrain your muscles, and increase your range of motion
- Bracing to add support to the ankle and prevent ankle bone from turning
- Medications including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation
If these treatments are ineffective in helping you regain strength in your ankles, our foot and ankle specialists may recommend a less conservative option such as surgery. Any surgical procedure that we perform will work to repair or reconstruct damaged ligaments caused by the repeated strains.
Our surgeon and ankle specialist will base their recommendations on the severity of your condition and how your ankle anatomy responds to non-surgical treatments.
Contact Our Eagle Mountain, UT, Foot and Ankle Surgeon
At Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute in Eagle Mountain, Utah, our team is dedicated to helping you find your sure footing in life. Our specialists are well-versed in all aspects of foot and ankle health, and we understand how chronic instability can negatively affect the rest of your life.
Rather than dealing with chronic pain and severe swelling resulting from repeated sprains, allow our ankle specialists to perform a physical exam and develop a customized treatment plan for your situation. We are dedicated to helping all of our patients regain control over their foot and ankle health to return to the activities and sporting events that they enjoy the most.
If you are dealing with sprains in your ankle that have been recurring and frequent, contact Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute in Eagle Mountain, Utah. Our doctors have the experience and knowledge necessary to treat your foot and ankle conditions effectively and efficiently. We are committed to continuing our education and staying up-to-date on the latest and greatest technology.