What Is Chronic Ankle Instability?
Chronic ankle instability is a medical condition where the ankle may become weak and repeatedly ‘gives away’ upon movement. This damage can affect the postural control, strength, flexibility, muscle reaction time, and proprioception of the ankle joint ultimately leading to chronic ankle instability.
What are the Symptoms of Chronic Ankle Instability?
The symptoms of chronic ankle instability are:
- Pain and swelling in the ankle.
- Tenderness in the ankle.
- Shaky movement.
- A repeated turning of the ankle joint, especially on uneven surfaces.
- Chronic discomfort in the ankle.
How to Diagnose Chronic Ankle Instability?
Effective treatment of chronic ankle instability depends on the correct diagnosis of the disease. The surgeon conducts tests to determine whether:
- Chronic ankle instability has caused ligament damage or bone damage. In the case of bone damage, emergency treatment will relieve pain and prevent further damage.
- Mechanical Ankle Instability.
- Ligament damage will require treatment for the ligaments.
- Functional Ankle Instability.
- The muscle damage will require treatment for the muscles.
The doctor will conduct an X-Ray, MRI, and even ACT scan to make the correct diagnosis. Other tests include:
- Anterior drawer test.
- Talar tilt test.
- Modified Romberg test.
What are Chronic Ankle Instability Treatments?
After the orthopedic doctor or surgeon has diagnosed:
- The existence of chronic ankle instability.
- The specific cause of chronic ankle instability.
- The type of damage caused by ankle instability.
- The disability rating for ankle instability (grades 1, 2, or 3).
- The doctor will recommend the most suitable course of action.
Treatment for Chronic Ankle Instability
If a Grade 1 or Grade 2 injury has been diagnosed, the doctor will initially prescribe conservative therapies. Strains and partial tears of the ligament and muscles and hairline fractures of the ankle bone are treated successfully with non-surgical treatments. These treatments include:
- RICE protocol.
- Ankle immobilization using ankle braces or protective footwear.
- Physical therapy exercises to strengthen ligaments, increase postural controls, proprioception, and muscle strength.
- Pain medications.
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs.
- Steroid injections.
- In some cases, the injury may not respond to non-surgical treatments. If the injury has not healed after a suitable time, the surgeon may recommend an ankle instability surgery.
Surgery for Chronic Ankle Instability
Lateral ankle instability surgery is the preferred treatment for grade 3 chronic ankle instability. In Grade 3 injury, the ankle’s ligament is completely torn, which can cause functional deficits.
The tendons of the ankle can also be damaged, which may require surgical repair or restructure. The surgical procedure depends on injury of the ligament, tendon, muscle, or bone. Common surgical procedures are:
- An anatomic repair (Brostrom procedure) for ligaments.
- Arthroscopic ligament repair and reconstruction surgery.
- Ankle fracture repair surgery.
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What Is Chronic Ankle Instability?
- It is a medical condition in which the ankle becomes weak and repeatedly ‘gives away’ upon movement.
- Lateral ankle sprains are the most common cause of chronic ankle instability.
Do I Have Ankle Instability?
- If you feel that your ankle is ready to give way, you may have ankle instability.
- It may be increased if you are walking while wearing high heels, or the ground is uneven. Some of the time, this agony is serious, sometimes it may be a dull hurt.
How Do You Fix Chronic Ankle Instability?
- There are several treatment options to fix chronic ankle instability.
- To fix Chronic Ankle Instability, you can go for physiotherapy to strengthen the joint. You can also wear an ankle brace to stabilize your ankle.