Your ankles are designed to handle a lot of weight and pressure, but compared to their surrounding structures they also represent something of a weak point. That’s why ankle injuries, particularly sprains, are so common (particularly among athletes or older people). It’s also why, over time, you may discover your once reliable ankles starting to give way or wobble, a condition known as lateral ankle instability.
Oftentimes, people who come to us with wobbly ankle problems have had a history of ankle sprains throughout their life, or had at least one bad sprain that never quite healed properly. When you sprain your ankle, you stretch and tear the supporting ligaments that connect your foot, ankle, and leg together. This affects everything from your ability to bear weight to your muscle strength and your sense of balance.
If you sprain your ankle repeatedly, each subsequent injury weakens the ligaments and supporting tissues more and more, making it harder and harder to come back at 100%--especially if you don’t fully commit to rehabilitation and physical therapy. Over time, the outer (or “lateral”) side of the ankle may become chronically unstable, prone to turning (especially during sports or on uneven surfaces), pain, swelling, and future sprains.
The lesson? Never underestimate a sprain! Although a relatively common sports injury, you should always get an injured ankle checked by a professional, and you should always take your rehabilitation program seriously. Following these rules can help you keep your ankle strong and healthy for years to come.If you’ve experienced a sprain, or your ankles are beginning to feel wobbly, give Dr. Danciger a call today. Based on your condition and lifestyle goals, we can help you develop a treatment plan to keep you active, safe, and free from pain, whether you need bracing, physical therapy or, in rare cases surgery. To schedule an appointment, request a time online or give us a call at 760-568-0108.