Do you constantly feel like your ankle is going to “give out?” Does walking on uneven surfaces, in high heels or stepping off a curb frequently cause your ankle to turn? If so, you may be suffering from chronic ankle instability, a condition that we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center know many patients find very frustrating.
Causes of Wobbly Ankles
In nearly all cases, at the root of a weak ankle condition is a previous ankle injury or problem. Common sources include:
- One or more ankle sprains
- Scar tissue formation following a sprain
- Fracture in the ankle joint bones
- Arthritis or other inflammatory condition of the ankle joint, tendons or joint lining
- Nerve damage in the ankle area, such as stretching, tearing or pinching of the ankle nerves
Sometimes patients fail to complete the full course of rehabilitation for an ankle injury. Physical therapy and other treatments are geared toward healing the overstretched ankle ligaments and also strengthening the muscles that surround the ankle. When the pain stops, that’s when a patient stops therapy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the ankle is fully healed. Going back to normal activities can lead to another sprain because the ankle is still weak. The more injuries, the weaker the ankle becomes.
Breaking the Cycle
The first step is getting your ankles evaluated. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley or Dr. Constance Omelas will examine your ankles and feet. The foot doctor will also ask questions about previous injuries, your medical history and recent activities. Digital x-rays (which can be done right in our Long Beach office) and/or other imaging studies may also be ordered to help get a clear picture of the condition of the ankle bones and joints.
Depending on the cause and extent of the ankle damage, a treatment plan will be developed which may include:
- Anti-inflammatory or steroidal medications prescribed on a temporary basis to decrease swelling
- Ankle braces or supports
- Immobilizing the ankle area if there is a fracture that needs to heal
- Physical therapy to strengthen and improve range of motion for ankle muscles
If you have weak ankles, don’t wait to get treatment. Contact us today by calling (562) 420-9800.