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Ankle Instability

What is ankle instability?

Ankle instability is where the ankle’s ligaments become stretched and causes the sensation of the joint ‘giving way.’ It can occur while you are standing still, walking or running.

Common side effects of the condition include swelling of the ankle, significant discomfort, tenderness and pain. Sufferers may find that their ankle turns inwards and may find it difficult to walk over unbalanced terrain.

What causes ankle instability?

Ankle instability is normally the result of a previous sprain that has not sufficiently healed. If you have experienced a sprain, it is essential that you seek the appropriate treatment so that you do not risk spraining the joint again. The more times an ankle is sprained, the weaker it becomes due to the ligaments stretching.

How is the condition diagnosed?

A doctor or healthcare professional will closely examine your ankle to determine the severity of your case. You may need to undergo a following X-ray, MRI or CT scan.

What is the treatment?

One option for the treatment of ankle instability is wearing an ankle brace to stop the ankle from turning in. Additionally, wearing a brace will prevent you from suffering from further sprains.

Your doctor or healthcare professional may also recommend physiotherapy / orthotics. Through specific exercises the ankle will become strengthened, the muscles will be retrained and the balance and range of motion will become significantly improved.

One final option is to undergo surgery, which is normally only recommended in more severe cases of ankle instability. The type of surgery will be relative to your personal case and typically involves reconstructing or repairing the ligaments surrounding the joint.

This page is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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