Ankle Instability- Its Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Ankle Instability is the condition which is characterized by a recurring giving way on the lateral side of your ankle. The person suffering from this problem goes through repeated ankle sprains. The giving way happens when you are walking or performing other activities. It can also occur when the person is standing.
The people suffering from chronic ankle instability complain about the following:
• Repeated ankle turning in case you are participating in sports or walking on the uneven surfaces
• Chronic discomfort and swelling
• Tenderness and pain
• Finding your ankle wobbly and unstable
What causes Ankle Instability?
So, what is the cause of Ankle Instability? It is developed after an ankle sprain, which is not healed properly. When the ankle is sprained, the connective tissues are either torn or stretched. The ability of balance gets affected. You will need proper rehabilitation for strengthening your ankle muscles and retraining the issues to create a balance. If you fail to do so, it will cause repeated sprains. When the sprain occurs repeatedly, it will result in chronic instability. The subsequent spread results in weakening the ligaments which further results in greater instability. Due to this, you might develop additional ankle problems.
How is the Diagnosis Performed?
To find out if you are suffering from Ankle Instability or not, the doctor will first evaluate your condition. The surgeon will ask you about previous ankle instabilities or injuries. Then he will move towards examining the ankle for checking the tender areas, potential swelling signs, and the instability in the ankle.
The surgery will perform an X-ray to see if the bones on the ankle are damaged. The ligaments do not appear on the X-rays. For the ligament damage to show in the X-rays, a dye has to be injected in the ankle or around the neighboring tendon. MRI scan might also be performed for this purpose.
What are the Treatments for this Condition?
Fear not, surgery is not the only solution, with the help of your therapist, you can first try the non-surgical treatments.
The most common non-surgical treatment is physical therapy which involves treatments and exercises for strengthening the ankle, improving the ankle balance, and retraining the muscles. Another non-surgical treatment is bracing in which the patient has to wear an ankle brace for giving support to the ankle and preventing it from turning. With bracing, you can prevent yourself from additional sprains or ankle troubles.
You might also be recommended some medication such as ibuprofen for reducing the pain and inflammation.
Is Surgery Necessary?
There are certain cases of Ankle Instability which have no solution but surgery. The process involves the reconstruction of the damaged ligaments. Such surgical procedures are chosen by the surgeon which suit your case the best. Usually, it depends on the degree of instability.
After the treatment, you are supposed to take extra care of your ankle because the recovery time varies depending on the level of damage. Observe all the precautions and you will recover soon.