FAQs about Lateral Ankle Instability
By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
February 11, 2015

Find about more about this chronic ankle condition and what it means for your ankle health.

Have you experienced a serious ankle sprain or several ankle sprains in the past? Did you decide not to seek treatment in hopes that Lateral Ankle Painthe condition would clear up on its own? If so, did you know that you are also at an increased risk for lateral ankle instability?

This chronic condition can cause consistent pain and inflammation around the ankle. Your Boise podiatrist shares the most popular questions regarding lateral ankle instability so you are informed about your condition and the treatment options available to you.

What is lateral ankle instability?

Sometimes referred to as chronic ankle instability, this condition involves weakened or loosened ligaments that cause your ankle to become unstable.

What causes this ankle disorder?

Lateral ankle instability is the result of ligaments that have been injured or stretched out due to a partial or complete tear. Often this ankle problem occurs after multiple injuries (e.g. sprains) to the ligaments. Those who’ve experienced these injuries and have never sought treatment, or received inadequate treatment for their injuries, are also more prone to developing lateral ankle instability.

What are the symptoms characteristic of lateral ankle instability?

This condition is often characterized by chronic ankle pain. You may notice that your ankle will often give out during movement, particularly exercise. Your ankle may feel unstable at times. Some people will also experience tenderness and swelling.

How is lateral ankle instability treated?

After performing a thorough physical examination, we will discuss the best treatment options for you depending on the severity of your condition. We often recommend physical therapy to help stretch and strengthen the weakened ligaments. This will help improve range-of-motion and retrain muscles to make balance and movement easier.

Braces may also offer support and protection for the ankle, preventing it from turning out and causing further injuries. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can also help with pain and swelling. If your symptoms are more severe, we may recommend a strong prescription medication.

Surgery may be recommended in some cases to repair the damage ligaments. However, this will depend on the severity of your instability and whether or not your ankle responds to other non-surgical treatments.

If you have suffered from multiple ankle sprains or if you have chronic swelling and pain around the ankle, then it’s time to see your Boise podiatrist for treatment. Call Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates today and get the treatment you deserve.

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