Chronic Ankle Instability

Defintions:

Chronic Ankle Instability is a recurring condition where the outer or lateral side of the foot gives way.  The ankle usually gives out during walking or while engaged in other activities, however, it can just give out while standing.  Often, this condition develops after repeated ankle sprains or an sprain that did not fully heal or was not properly rehabilitated.  The  ability to balance is often affected.

Signs and Symptoms:

The symptoms of chronic ankle instability are:

  • Repeated turning of the ankle. This especially occurs when walking on uneven surfaces or when participating in sports activities such as basketball or soccer.
  • Persistent (chronic) discomfort and swelling
  • Pain or tenderness
  • The ankle feeling wobbly or unstable

Diagnosis:

Dr. Westermeyer, in diagnosing the condition, will thoroughly examine the foot. He will ask you about any previous ankle instability or injuries.  He will look for pain in the joint, any signs of swelling, or instability.

Treatment:

Dr. Westermeyer has many treatment options available and will choose the method that is best suited to the condition and the patient’s lifestyle.  Both non-surgical and surgical methods exist. To help relieve the symptoms, one or more of the following non-surgical  treatments may be used:

  • Physical therapy. Therapy might involve a variety of strengthening exercises to strengthen the ankle and build balance, range of motion, and stability.
  • Bracing to support he ankle and keep it from turning, preventing further ankle sprains.
  • Oral medications, such as ibuprofen, to reduce inflammation and to relieve pain.

Surgery may be needed, in some cases, if the condition has lead to significant instability and the patient’s response to non-surgical treatment. Surgery usually involves repairing or reconstructing damaged ligaments.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, please come in and visit your escondido podiatrist Dr. Westermeyer to determine the severity of the condition and to learn about the treatment options available to you.

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