Ankle Sprains and Chronic Ankle Instability

Ankle Sprains and Chronic Ankle Instability

Ankle sprains are one of the most common sports injuries, and account for nearly 10% of all orthopedic injuries seen in the Emergency Department1. These ankle injuries are often recurrent—seen to happen multiple times on the same ankle—eventually leading to what is known as ankle instability. It has been published nearly 40% of individuals with history of at least one ankle sprain experience symptoms associated with chronic ankle instability2. This chronic ankle instability eventually leads to permanent damage to the ligaments of the ankle, injury to the surrounding tendons, and over time destruction of the cartilage within the ankle, causing ankle arthritis. This process leads to persistent pain and swelling, loss of balance, inability to perform athletic activities and work duties, and may eventually cause noticeable deformity within the ankle.

Fortunately, there are treatment options related to ankle instability. Depending on the severity and progression of your ankle instability, conservative treatments such as temporary bracing followed by custom orthotics may be enough to address your issues. For other individuals with more significant instability, there are options to repair the damaged ligaments and tendons around the ankle, arthroscopically evaluate and, if necessary, repair the cartilage within the joint, and provide a more stable, functional ankle joint.

If you have experienced an ankle sprain, or think you may have ankle instability, make an appointment at the Podiatry Clinic of Jackson today to see one of our foot and ankle specialists. We will provide a comprehensive evaluation of your ankle joint, educate you on your specific issues, and work with you on a treatment plan that will get you back to performing your desired activities as safely and pain-free as possible.

  1. Lee MS, Hofbauer MH. Evaluation and management of lateral ankle injuries. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 1999 Oct;16(4):659-78. PMID: 10553227.

  2. Gerber JP, Williams GN, Scoville CR, et al. Persistent disability associated with ankle sprains: a prospective examination of an athletic population. Foot Ankle Int 1998 Oct; 19(10): 653–60

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