Dealing with Chronic Ankle Instability

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All of us at one time or another have “turned an ankle.” But what if that uncomfortable sensation of your ankle giving way and twisting under you happens often? This may be a sign of a condition that we see fairly often at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC known as chronic ankle instability.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

In addition to frequent turning of the ankle, a patient with chronic ankle instability may experience ongoing pain or discomfort in the ankle along with tenderness and swelling. There may also be a feeling of weakness or wobbliness in the ankle.

One of our podiatrists, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko will examine your ankle and look for signs of instability as well as check for swelling and pain. The foot doctor will want to know about previous ankle sprains or injuries as this is the main cause of chronic ankle instability. When full rehabilitation of the ankle does not occur after an injury, the ligaments which have been overstretched tend to be looser and more likely to give way again, causing another sprain and greater weakness. In addition, the podiatrist may want to get an x-ray or other imaging study to further evaluate your ankle.

What Can be Done?

Based on the extent of the damage and the amount of weakness in your ankle, the foot doctor will recommend the appropriate treatment. Sometimes surgery is necessary to reconstruct the damaged ligaments. In other cases, physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles, improve balance and increase range of motion may be prescribed. It’s important to complete the full course of physical therapy because often the healing and strengthening that is occurring cannot be felt. A brace for the ankle may also be recommended. This will provide added support and can prevent the ankle from twisting during sports and other activities.

If you believe you may be experiencing chronic ankle instability, contact our Valley Stream or Lake Success office by calling: (516) 825-4070 or (516) 327-0074 for an appointment today. The longer you delay, the more likely another sprain will occur.