How to Keep a Sprained Ankle from Becoming Chronic Instability

Are you recovering from a sprained ankle? Is it bothering you even though you’ve been using ice and getting plenty of rest? You may have injured the ligaments that connect your Achilles tendon to your calf and heel muscles. This can make any kind of movement, such as walking or putting weight on it, feel painful. 

At Podiatry Hotline, Dr. Thomas Rambacher can provide an assessment to determine the appropriate form of treatment. You don’t want your ankle injury to become what doctors call a “chronic instability.”

How do you know if you have an ankle injury? 

It can be hard to diagnose an ankle injury on your own. This is because the damage takes place internally and can only be seen with an X-ray. Dr. Rambacher can take an X-ray, if necessary, and determine the extent of the damage based on any swelling or bruising of the injured area.

However, you can still be on the lookout for common symptoms of an ankle injury, which could be wobbling when you put weight on the foot, a “popping” feeling with movement, discolored skin, and limited motion. 

If you still have pain after a few days of icing and rest, it’s time to seek medical treatment. You don’t want to hold off for too long and let the pain get worse.

What causes chronic ankle instability?

The soft tissues in your ankle can cause a sprain when they become stretched and don’t heal properly. This causes surrounding tissues and ligaments to get weaker, which could lead to other injuries if not treated. Ankle injuries are most common among athletes, but anyone can have ankle instability. Arthritis, fractures, inflammation of the tendons, and unhealed sprains can also cause ankle instability. 

Ankle instability can present with stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and feeling unstable when you put any weight on it at all. You may also feel your ankle “give out,” even if you aren’t doing much.

How do you treat an ankle injury?

It’s extremely important to get proper treatment for a sprained ankle in order to prevent chronic instability. Dr. Rambacher may recommend heat or ice therapy, a cast, physical therapy, or surgery in extreme cases. During or after your treatment, you may need to rely on crutches for a while, as well as Ace bandages.

Learn more about preventing ankle instability

If your ankle injury isn’t healing properly on its own, call Dr. Rambacher for an appointment at 949-916-0077. You can also book an appointment online. Don’t let what starts out as a minor injury turn into a chronic problem.

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