If you have ever suffered a sprained ankle, you know how painful they can be, and how long they can take to heal. Even after several weeks, you might find a sudden wrong movement will send pain shooting through the injured site. Eventually, with rest, physiotherapy and strengthening, the ankle regains its normal function. But for some people, improperly treated or treatment-resistant ankle injuries can become a chronic problem, making their daily and recreational activities hazardous.

Why is Ankle Instability a Serious Problem?

Once an ankle becomes unstable, the joint will feel loose and tend to roll toward the damaged side. You may also have chronic pain or swelling. This leads to mobility problems, difficulty walking or running (especially on uneven surfaces), repeated sprains, torn tendons or ligaments and even arthritis. It can also alter the way you walk, increasing the strain on other joints, like your knees, putting them at greater risk of damage.

Sometimes, the ankle will roll when you are standing still. Whether or not you are moving, an unstable ankle puts you at greater risk for additional ankle injury, knee and hip problems and a wide variety of injuries from falls.

Treatment For Ankle Instability

When you injure your ankle, it is important to have it examined and treated so it heals properly. Sometimes what appears to be a minor injury can be more serious than you initially thought. If you have a chronic instability, do not delay treatment any longer. There are steps your specialist can take to rehabilitate and restore your ankle function.

Treatment of your ankle instability depends on a physical examination, diagnostic imaging, your age and your activity level. For some people, conservative treatments are the best approach. The goal of conservative treatment is to minimize pain and swelling while using physiotherapy to improve range of motion and strength. If your instability is treatment-resistant or severe, surgery is the recommended course of action. By repairing the damaged ligaments, the surgeon can restore the supportive structure of the ankle. To address your ankle instability, contact the office of Dr. Struhl today.