Treatments for Ankle Instability, Weak Ankles and Ankle Pain

Symptoms of Ankle Instability – Weak Ankles, Ankle Pain. A condition where the restraining outside area of the ligaments of the ankle become over stretched is called ankle instability. It can lead to a feeling of instability in your ankle and it can predispose you to frequent sprains.

Some Common Complaints of Ankle Instability

Those who suffer from ankle instability frequently complain of the following:

  • Repeated ankle turning, this is especially true for uneven surfaces or in sport activities.
  • Chronic discomfort and swelling.
  • Tenderness and pain
  • A feeling of wobbliness or unstable walking

Ankle Instability - Ankle Sprain - Ankle Ligament Rupture

Ankle Instability Symptoms, Causes | Ankle Sprain Treatment | Ankle Foot Orthosis (Orthotics)

What’s Ankle Instability?

A conditions that is characterized by recurring injury to the ankle by weak or giving away of the outer area or side of the ankle. It’s often caused by frequent sprains. Generally, the giving away happens when walking or involved in other activities. It can also happen if someone is simply standing still. Athletes and others can suffer from chronic ankle injuries and instability.

Causes of Weak Ankles, Ankle Sprain and Instability

Ankle instability often occurs after an ankle sprain that wasn’t completely healed or rehabilitated. An ankle sprain affects the connective tissues which stretch and tear. The balance is greatly affected. Rehabilitation is required in order to strengthen the muscles that support the ankle and it’s important to retrain the tissue within the ankle for balance purposes. If you don’t do this, you’ll have repeated sprains.

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Why Repeated Ankle Sprain is Serious!

Sprained ankle

Nearly everyone has at some time or another twisted an ankle. If your ankle is swollen or painful after twisting it, you may well have sprained it. You’ve already stretched and quite possibly torn your ligaments in the injured ankle.

While ankle sprains are very common, they are not always minor. Some people will repeatedly sprain or twist their ankles and can suffer long-term joint pain as well as weakness. The way a sprained ankle is treated can prevent problems down the road.

Repeated sprains can often cause chronic ankle instability. For every subsequent sprain, you are further weakening your ankle and your ligaments. This results in more instability and it is quite likely that you will have further problems with your ankle.

Diagnosing the Ankle Condition

A foot and ankle surgeon will ask you a lot of questions while evaluating your condition.

  • The doctor will ask about prior injuries and instability.
  • Look at your ankle and find the tender areas.
  • Look for swelling and how your ankle is unstable.
  • X rays will be reviewed, as will other imaging studies that may have been conducted.
  • An MRI may be ordered to evaluate the extent of soft tissue injury.

Non-Surgical Treatments and Options

There are many non-surgical treatment options. Your treatment will be based upon the results of your exam and your tests. The treatment will also take into consideration your level of activity.

  • Your treatment for non-surgical options may include physical therapy. This will involve strengthening your ankle through stretching exercises, improving your balance and training your muscles to work right. You may also receive training in how to manage sports activities or other activities that you may be involved in.
  • Bracing is another non-surgical form of treatment. You may be required to wear a brace for support and to help stop your ankle from turning. It can also help to prevent further injury.
  • Medications such as non-steroidal or anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed as well to relieve pain and inflammation.


Ankle Foot Orthosis (a brace to support your ankle)

This brace is designed to surround your ankle and part of your foot. They are shaped like an L and worn externally. They can be made of metal, leather, plastic, synthetics or a combination of any of them.

Reasons for Orthosis (ankle support)

  • Controlling the position of the ankle.
  • Make up for muscles that are week from a stroke, injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, polio, multiple sclerosis or other peripheral neuropathy conditions.
  • Immobilization of the ankle and the lower portion of the leg for a fracture or arthritis.
  • Stabilize the ankle and the subtalar joint that is often caused by flat feet.
  • Allow for normal movement of the ankle.
  • Reduce abnormal gaits and improve the ability to walk.

Contact Dr. Jarman to find out if you would benefit from ankle foot orthotics.

When Would Surgery Be Required?

In a few cases, the surgeon will recommend surgery due to the level of instability or the ankle not responding to the previous approaches. Surgery will involve repairing or reconstruction the damaged ligaments of the ankle. The surgeon will carefully evaluate your specific condition and determine the best possible procedure for your condition. Recovery time will vary according to the procedure that you have performed.

Ankle Brace for acute ankle pain and ankle stability - Malleo Dynastab Brace Boa

Ankle Brace for acute ankle pain and ankle stability – Malleo Dynastab Brace Boa