Many of the joints in the human body are important for various reasons. When we think of our mobility and independence, perhaps the most essential are the ankle joints. They enable us to walk, run, jump, and even operate the pedals in our cars. Chronic ankle instability is a condition that can impede not only our ability to enjoy favorite activities, but also to perform daily tasks.
We can provide treatment for ankle injuries here at McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group, but we are happy to report that there are also prevention steps you can take to stay safe in the first place.
The ankle is comprised of two different joints—the true ankle joint and the subtalar joint. The first joint is where the lower leg bones meet the talus and this joint enables the foot to move up and down. The second is where the talus meets the calcaneus bone and enables the foot to move from side to side. The bones in these respective joints are connected by numerous ligaments.
Ankle Injuries That Lead to Instability
There are several potential injuries that can affect the ankles, including sprains, fractures, and arthritis. As we look at instability, the main injuries that play a role are sprains. These injuries happen when the joint extends beyond its intended range of motion and the ligaments sustain tears or, in the case of a rupture, snap completely.
Chronic ankle instability happens when a sprain is not allowed to heal fully before normal activities are resumed, particularly those that are more intense. This makes the weakened joint more likely to become reinjured. Repeated sprains are the most common reasons for a chronically unstable joint.
Treating Injuries and Preventing Ankle Instability
The best nonsurgical treatment options for this condition include medications, bracing, and physical therapy. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce inflammation and pain in an affected joint. Bracing supports the ankle and prevents the joint from turning excessively and sustaining further damage. Physical therapy is often centered on exercises that improve range of motion, restore balance, and strengthen supporting muscles.
Some cases require surgical procedures, typically when the degree of instability is severe or nonsurgical options are not having the desired effect. In these cases, we may need to either reconstruct or repair damaged ligaments. We will always discuss your procedure options in advance so you know what to expect from recovery.
To prevent a long-term issue, the best course you can take is to follow doctor instructions and avoid the temptation to jump back into action too quickly after injury. We will provide a realistic timetable for your return to exercising and other favorite activities.
Ankle Treatment in Sacramento, CA
When you suffer from any foot injury, be sure to reach out to our Carmichael, CA podiatrist office. By doing so, you can be certain that you will receive the proper treatment and follow-up care that may help prevent a long-term issue from developing in your ankle.
Call McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group at (916) 961-3434 or use our online form today to schedule your appointment with us.