A frustrating condition that we at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM commonly hear patients complain about is weak ankles. In medical terms, this is known as chronic ankle instability but whatever you call it, the condition is characterized by frequent turning of the ankle when playing sports, exercising or even just walking or standing. Other signs of weak ankles include a wobbly or unstable feeling (like your ankle is going to give out), chronic tenderness, pain or soreness of the ankle and persistent swelling. A weak ankle is often the result of a downward spiral of circumstances: you sprain your ankle which means the ligaments are stretched or torn. This weakens the ligaments and affects your balance, making it more likely that you’ll twist your ankle again, further weakening the ligaments, and so on.
Full Rehabilitation for Sprains A Must
The key to stopping this disabling cycle is to make sure ankle injuries are promptly diagnosed and fully rehabilitated. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco will want to examine your ankle and may order x-rays or other imaging studies. The foot doctor will also want to know about your daily activities, your fitness regimen and any sports you play. Non-surgical ways to correct chronic ankle instability include:
- Physical therapy—treatments and exercise specifically designed to strengthen your ankle and the surrounding muscles for support to the ligaments and tendon can be very helpful. Other exercises may be aimed at improving balance and range of motion.
- Bracing—wearing a brace can provide the ankle with additional support and help prevent the ankle from twisting and becoming sprained again.
In cases where the ligaments are badly torn or damaged, the foot and ankle surgeon may recommend surgery to repair or reconstruct the ligaments. If you are experiencing chronic ankle pain or weakness in your ankles and frequent twisting, contact our Somers Point office for an appointment today. This is one condition that will most certainly get worse if you delay treatment.