A sprained ankle, while painful and inconvenient, usually heals on its own and, in the long term, is nothing to worry about. However, multiple sprains or a very severe sprain can cause a chronic condition called ankle instability. Learn more about ankle instability from your podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO.
What causes ankle instability?
Ankle instability occurs when the ligaments in the ankle fail to tighten as they heal from a sprained ankle. This condition results in pain, difficulty walking, especially on uneven ground, swelling, stiffness, and an increased risk of ankle sprains and ankle rolls. Ankle instability is a chronic condition, meaning it lasts for a long period of time. If you experience ankle pain, especially after a sprain, for longer than several weeks or months, you may have ankle instability.
Is ankle instability preventable?
Properly treating an ankle sprain is key in preventing chronic instability. If you believe you have an ankle sprain, be sure to see your podiatrist Dr. Wittock for the proper treatment. Allowing your doctor to monitor your sprain as it heals decreases your chances of ankle instability. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy or custom orthotics to further protect you from ankle instability.
Ankle Instability Treatment in St. Louis, MO
Untreated ankle instability can eventually lead to tendonitis and other secondary conditions, making treatment in its earlier stages important. Often, treatment begins with more conservative methods like splinting the ankle or physical therapy. If these methods fail, surgery becomes necessary. During the surgery, your doctor makes several small incisions in order to access and repair the loosened ligaments. Recovery takes about two to six weeks, after which a walking boot after this time helps the ligaments heal correctly. Physical therapy is normally necessary alongside the healing process.
For more information on ankle instability and its treatments, please contact Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO. Call 636-717-1100 to schedule your foot and ankle examination with Dr. Wittock today!