Do these symptoms sound familiar: frequent ankle turning, especially when walking on uneven surfaces or when you’re very active; a feeling like your ankle is going to “give out;” persistent swelling of the ankle, ongoing pain and tenderness in the ankle? If you answered yes to one or more of these symptoms, you may be suffering from Chronic Ankle Instability. Here at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM, we want patients to be aware of this potentially disabling condition and how to deal with it.
In most cases, people with chronic ankle instability have had one or more ankle sprains in the past. A sprain occurs when the ligaments or connective tissues in your ankle are severely overstretched or torn. Physical therapy and other treatments are necessary to completely rehabilitate the ankle through a combination of retraining the ligaments and strengthening muscles surrounding the ligaments for added support. In many cases when patients start to feel no pain and think they can bear weight on the ankle, they discontinue the physical and other therapies. But just because the pain is gone, that does not mean the ligaments are fully healed or that balance is fully restored. Consequently, patients are now more likely to twist the ankle again. So begins a bad cycle where repeated ankle sprains become more frequent, stretching the ligaments further and increasing the likelihood of more sprains.
Breaking the Cycle
If you have symptoms of chronic ankle instability, our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, will want to examine your foot and evaluate your ankle’s range of motion. X-rays or other imaging studies may also be ordered to let the foot doctor gain a complete picture of your ankle’s current condition. Once the podiatrist knows the extent of ankle damage, he can provide the best treatment prescription for you. A multi-pronged approach that includes medication, bracing and physical therapy can get you back on track by strengthening your ankle and eliminating or greatly reducing the number of ankle twists you experience.
If the above symptoms sound familiar, contact our Somers Point office for an appointment today by calling: (609) 927-4894.