The ankle is made up of multiple bones, muscles and connective tissues (ligaments) that work together to provide stability and support and prevent excessive movements. When the ligaments supporting the sides of the ankle are injured, often from repeated ankle sprains, they are stretched out and weakened, which can cause ankle instability, a condition characterized by frequent “giving way” or a rolling of the ankle.
Ankle instability, also referred to as chronic ankle instability, is caused by weakened ligaments surrounding the ankle bones. This is most often a direct result of one or more ankle sprain injuries that do not heal properly. With each sprain, the ligaments are further stretched and weakened, resulting in greater instability.
Ankle instability is particularly common among athletes. It can also result from a severe, non sports-related ankle sprain that may occur from stepping on an uneven surface or stepping down at an angle.
If you have ankle instability, you will likely experience:
There are several factors that can increase your risk for ankle instability:
If you are experiencing pain or swelling in the ankle and repeated incidents where your ankle “gives way”, call our office at 212‑434‑4920 or fill out the schedule appointment form on this page so Stuart Katchis, M.D. can evaluate and treat your condition as soon as possible.
Most symptoms of ankle instability can be improved with nonsurgical treatments, but in severe cases, surgery may be recommended.
Nonsurgical treatment options may involve:
Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can considerably reduce pain. If necessary, Dr. Katchis may prescribe a stronger medication to help with inflammation and pain.
Proper rehabilitation is often necessary to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and retrain the tissues within the ankle that affect balance.
A brace can provide extra support and stabilization for an ankle with weakened ligaments. It can also prevent additional ankle sprains.
In cases where ankle instability does not improve with nonsurgical treatments, Dr. Katchis may recommend surgery. The surgery for ankle instability involves either repairing or reconstructing the damaged ligament(s).
Recovery times will vary depending on the severity of each patient’s condition. Whether you undergo nonsurgical or surgical treatment for your ankle instability, Stuart Katchis, M.D. will provide recommendations for long-term measures designed to improve your symptoms, such as physical therapy exercises and wearing an ankle brace, especially when doing sports and other activities.