Chronic ankle instability or lateral ankle instability, is a condition in which the ankle feels weak, gives way or sprains easily. There are three ligaments on the outside of the ankle joint that prevent the ankle from turning:
If any of these ligaments become compromised by trauma or other injury, you may experience pain, discomfort and difficulty walking for which you’ll need the top ankle instability treatment available. If you’re in need of relief and want to receive treatment from the best podiatrist in San Antonio, schedule your first appointment with Dr. Davis at South Texas Podiatry today.
Typical ankle instability symptoms will include:
When it comes to unstable ankle ligaments, treatment usually includes:
Ankle foot orthotics are foot orthotics which have sections that come up the ankle to provide the additional needed support. Many such devices are sport specific. For example, an AFO designed for soccer players may have a shin guard added.
In some cases, surgical treatment of lateral ankle instability may be necessary. The ligament most affected in lateral ankle instability is the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL). It is possible, in many cases, for the podiatric surgeon to simply sew up the ends of the ligament, restoring strength. Use of sonography or diagnostic ultrasound allows us to determine the condition of the ligament to see if such a repair is possible ahead of time.
The ATFL is often frayed or too weak to be repaired but there are a number of techniques to reinforce the ligament either using suture or a graft material. Repair of the ATFL is often termed a “Brostrom'' procedure. There are various modifications of the Brostrom procedure such as the Brostrom-Gould procedure in which tissue from the surrounding joint capsule is brought in to reinforce the ligament. Additionally, a number of manufacturers have created products to enhance and strengthen the repair.
Ankles that roll or sprain easily can lead to further injuries such as ankle fractures, worse sprains, ankle joint arthritis, or falls. Additionally, some patients have occupational considerations – a fireman who goes up and down ladders, a roofer, or a professional athlete require a stable ankle more than someone with a desk job. Falls are also a major cause of injury in the elderly leading to more significant injury such as hip fractures, and they can become more prevalent if a person is already struggling with ankle instability.
Not always. Dr. Davis is passionate about providing the least invasive treatment possible and will explore other avenues before recommending surgery. Should surgery be required, South Texas Podiatry is fully equipped to help as the top foot surgeon near you.
Absolutely, and in fact, we recommend consulting Dr. Davis before you purchase inserts over the counter. Most store bought inserts or “orthotics” are essentially arch supports. Arch supports need to be used cautiously in patients with lateral ankle instability because the act of lifting the arch makes it easier to sprain the ankle.
If you are looking for the best podiatrist in San Antonio, Texas, you’ve come to the right place. Lateral ankle instability and other foot and ankle ailments shouldn’t put you on the sidelines. If you or a loved one are in need of a foot doctor, visit our office at , or call us at to get more information.