What is Chronic Ankle Instability?
Chronic ankle instability is a condition defined by a recurring giving way of the outer side of the ankle. The condition becomes chronic after repeated ankle sprains. Usually, the giving way of the ankle happens while one is on their feet such as walking or doing other activities, but it can also happen even if one is only standing.
What are the Symptoms of Chronic Ankle Instability?
Patient with chronic ankle instability often complain of:
- Multiple turnings of the ankle over a short period of time, especially on uneven surfaces or during high impact activities.
- Unstable and wobbly ankle
- Persistent discomfort and swelling of the foot and ankle
- Persistent pain and tenderness in th ankle
What Causes Chronic Ankle Instability?
Chronic ankle instability often results from an ankle sprain that has not healed sufficiently or was not rehabilitated completely. When the ankle is sprained, the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, are stretched out of their normal limits or torn. When this happens, the ability to balance oneself is often negatively affected. Therefore it is important to properly rehabilitate in order to strengthen the muscles around the ankle and foot and retrain the tissues within the ankle that affect balance. If the ankle is no rehabilitated properly, repeated ankle sprains may occur, which can led to chronic ankle instability.
Multiple ankle sprains occurring within a short time span often causes and can make chronic ankle instability even worse. Each subsequent ankle sprain causes further weakening of the ligaments of the ankle, leading to greater ankle instability.
How is Chronic Ankle Instability Diagosed?
In evaluating and diagnosing your foot and ankle condition, Dr. Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles CA will obtain a complete medical history and ask you about any pervious ankle injuries and possible instabilities. Dr. Yamini will also perform physical examination to check for tender areas, swelling, and instability. In-office X-rays may also be done to further evaluate the ankle and the extent of the ankle instability.
How is Chronic Ankle Instability Treated?
To treat chronic ankle instability, Dr. Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles CA, will base the treatment options on the physical examinations, imaging as well as the patient's level of activity and goals. Dr. Yamini utilizes both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options to most optimally treat patients.
Most patients response very well to the nonsurgal treatment options recommended by Dr. Yamini. These nonsurgical treatment options include:
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medications
Even though for the majority of patients, the chronic ankle instability resolves with nonsurgical treatment, in some cases, however, surgery might be recommended depending on the degree of instability or the exhaustion of more conservative treatment options. The aim of the various surgical procedures available is to repair or reconstruct the damaged ligament(s). Dr. Yamini will select the most suitable surgical procedure based on the degree of the ankle instability and your activity level and goals.