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Updated:

April 1, 2024

What is Ankle Instability?

Ankle Instability

Chronic ankle instability occurs after repeated ankle twists and sprains, which causes recurring instability in the lateral side of the ankle.

Those with chronic instability usually report a repeated turning of the ankle, consistent swelling and discomfort, tenderness, and the ankle feeling unsupported and “wobbly.”

Repeated previous ankle injuries to the ankle can perpetuate chronic ankle instability, since each sprain or turn further weakens the anterior talofibular ligament.

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How We Treat Ankle Instability

We will recommend either conservative treatment or surgical treatment for ankle instability depending on the patient’s medical history, level of pain, and other determining factors.

Conservative Ankle Instability Treatment Options

Physical Therapy

Patients involved in physical therapy can use this type of treatment to exercise the muscles around the ankle, which will help them to improve their balance and range of motion, addressing ankle instability symptoms.

Bracing

Wearing an ankle brace can help add support to the ankle and prevent it from giving way and incurring additional sprains, beneficial for lateral ankle instability.

Medication

Pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen can be used to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation, but cannot be looked at as a long-term solution for ankle instability.

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Surgical Treatment for Ankle Instability

Based on the degree of instability, ankle instability surgery for this type of ankle issue can be recommended. Lateral ankle ligament reconstruction involves repairing the damaged ligaments on the outside of the ankle and creating additional support, a procedure often indicated in a chronic ankle instability test.

This type of surgery usually takes place in one day on an outpatient basis and patients can typically go home the same day, addressing what is chronic ankle instability effectively.

Insurance Coverage for Ankle Instability

Navigating insurance coverage for ankle instability treatments can be complex. Modern Foot & Ankle is committed to making this process straightforward and accessible. We accept a wide variety of insurance plans, ensuring a broad spectrum of patients have access to our specialized care.

Coverage details, including deductibles and co-pays, can significantly impact your treatment plan. We encourage our patients to actively engage with both their insurance provider and our billing team to fully understand their benefits and coverage options.

Our goal is to facilitate the best possible care without the added stress of unforeseen expenses. For more specific information, please visit our insurance information page at Modern Foot & Ankle.

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Why Choose Us

Selecting the right clinic for your recurrent ankle sprains and instability is crucial. At Modern Foot & Ankle, we offer comprehensive care that stands out for several reasons:

Expertise in Foot and Ankle Care

Our team of specialists, including highly trained foot and ankle surgeons, is dedicated to providing the highest standard of care for conditions ranging from repeated most ankle sprains to ankle arthritis.

Advanced Diagnostic Tools

We utilize state-of-the-art technology to accurately diagnose issues affecting the ankle joint and ligaments, ensuring precise, targeted treatment plans.

Customized Treatment Options

Whether you need physical therapy for multiple prior ankle sprains or surgical intervention by an experienced ankle surgeon, we tailor our approach to meet your specific needs.

Preventative and Post-Treatment Care

Beyond immediate treatment, we focus on long-term health and prevention of additional ankle sprains, offering guidance on ankle braces and exercises to strengthen the lateral ankle ligaments.

Patient Education:

We believe in empowering our patients with knowledge about their foot and ankle health, helping them make informed decisions about their care.

Compassionate Support Team

Our staff is committed to providing a supportive, welcoming environment at all of our clinics.

In Summary

Chronic ankle instability is a condition often resulting from repeated ankle sprains that compromise the integrity of the ankle ligaments, particularly the lateral ankle ligaments. It can lead to persistent pain, swelling, and a sensation of the ankle "giving way."

Treatment options range from physical therapy and ankle braces to surgical interventions by experienced foot and ankle surgeons. Insurance coverage for these treatments is variable, and patients are encouraged to consult with their providers and our clinic for guidance.

At Modern Foot & Ankle, we are dedicated to providing expert care, advanced treatments, and comprehensive support for patients suffering from ankle instability and other foot and ankle conditions.

The information on our website is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. For any health-related concerns, we strongly recommend consulting with a healthcare professional. Please note that any reliance on the information found on our site is solely at your own risk. For more details, please see our Medical Disclaimer.

FAQs

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How can I tell if my ankle sprain has led to instability?

Signs of functional ankle instability include frequent ankle sprains, a feeling of the ankle giving way, persistent pain, and swelling. These symptoms often suggest damage to the ankle ligaments, particularly the lateral ligaments.

Are there exercises I can do to prevent ankle sprains?

Yes, physical therapy exercises focused on strengthening the ankle joint and improving balance can significantly reduce the risk of repeated ankle sprains.

When should I see a foot and ankle surgeon for my ankle instability?

If you've experienced multiple prior ankle sprains and conservative treatments haven't improved your stability or pain, it's advisable to consult with a foot and ankle surgeon.

Can wearing an ankle brace help prevent further sprains?

Absolutely. An ankle brace can provide additional support to weakened ankle ligaments, especially the lateral ankle ligaments, helping to prevent additional ankle sprains.

Is surgery the only option for chronic ankle instability?

Surgery is often considered for severe cases or when conservative measures fail. Lateral ligament repair or reconstruction might be recommended by an ankle surgeon to restore stability and function.

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Local Podiatrists specializing in Ankle Instability

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