Sports Pros and Amateurs Suffer from Chronic Ankle Problems


If you watched the Jets vs. the Bears football game recently, you may have seen the play where Bears guard Kyle Long went down and then had to be helped off the field, unable to bear weight on his right foot. Although the Bears went on to win the game, Long is not scoring well on his ankle. In 2016, he suffered a severe ankle injury with extensive ligament and tendon damage that required reconstructive surgery. At Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC, we know that you don’t have to be a professional athlete to struggle with chronic ankle problems—many of our patients do too.

What’s Behind Chronic Ankle Instability

For most patients, the reason for an ongoing ankle problem can be traced back to an earlier sprain or injury. When an ankle is sprained, the ligaments are stretched or even torn. It takes a considerable amount of rehabilitation and physical therapy, and sometimes surgery, to repair the damage. Part of the problem is that an ankle injury will often feel better before it is better.

Cessation of pain does not mean an ankle is fully healed. It takes time to tighten overstretched ligaments and also to strengthen the surrounding muscles that support the ankle ligaments. Your balance can also be affected. If patients stop therapy too early, these issues can combine to cause additional sprains. A “Catch 22” situation begins to develop—the more times you sprain your ankle, the weaker it becomes and the more likely it is to be sprained again.

Treatment Options

If you are experiencing frequent turning of your ankle and a feeling of wobbliness in addition to pain, tenderness or swelling, it’s important that you make an appointment at our Valley Stream (516-825-4070) or Lake Success (516-327-0074) office. One of our foot and ankle surgeons Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko can evaluate your condition.

Based on your examination and your current level of physical activity, the foot doctor may recommend bracing and/or physical therapy to strengthen your ankle. Medications to help relieve pain and inflammation are also available. To learn more, contact us today.