ANKLE INSTABILITY

Every day an estimated one out of every 10,000 people sprain their ankle, an injury in which one of the two major ligaments on the outer portion of the ankle is stretched and/or torn. About 10% of these sprains develop into ankle instability, a condition in which the ligament has healed in a lengthened position. As a result, the person is prone to a feeling of the ankle “giving out” and to additional sprains.

TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC ANKLE INSTABILITY IS BASED ON THE RESULTS OF AN EXAMINATION AND TESTS, AS WELL AS ON THE PATIENT’S LEVEL OF ACTIVITY.

NON-SURGICAL TREATMENT OF ANKLE INSTABILITY MAY INCLUDE:
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy involves various treatments and exercises to strengthen the ankle, improve balance and range of motion, and retrain your muscles. As you progress through rehabilitation, you may also receive training that relates specifically to your activities or sport.
  • Bracing. Some patients wear an ankle brace to gain support for the ankle and keep the ankle from turning. Bracing also helps prevent additional ankle sprains.
  • Medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.
physical therapy

In some cases, surgery is recommended based on the degree of instability or lack of response to non-surgical approaches.

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In more extreme cases, surgery may be recommended to repair or reconstruct the ligaments supporting the outside of the ankle. This procedure can be very painful and may require several weeks for the patient to fully recover.

As an alternative, regenerative techniques using stem cells can be performed to rebuild the damaged ligament(s) and improve the ankle’s stability. This very short procedure will often allow the patient to carry on with their normal routines without experiencing any downtime.