Tri-State Specialists Orthopedic Urgent Care Center: Monday - Friday 8am - 4pm. Phone number: 712-226-7188

Why do I keep spraining my ankle?

Why do I keep spraining my ankle?

Ankle joint is stabilized by both static and dynamic structures. Stabilizing structures can be damaged by a significant sprain or recurrent ones including lateral ankle ligaments, ankle syndesmosis, peroneal tendons, and bony structrures. up to 30% of ankle sprains can lead to chronic symptoms especially if they are not properly treated or a reinjury occurs prior to complete healing. The more frequent sprains happen, the more unstable and damaged the ankle becomes. The most common cause of mechanical instability is the deficiency of lateral ankle ligaments.  

What is the different between functional and mechanical instability?

Functional instability is a condition with instability symptoms at the ankle without a detectable laxity of the ankle joint. This is commonly related to poor muscle coordination or imbalance. Mechanical instability is a much more common condition but the detection of subtle instability can be challenging. In my experience a careful physical examination using an anterolateral drawer test and a talar tilt test is the most practical method. MRI scan can often demonstrate damaged ligaments and associated injuries within and around the ankle joint.

What is the treatment for an unstable ankle?

Treatments vary depending on the chronicity and severity of symptoms but usually include brief immobilization, physical therapy, ankle bracing, and taping. It is not uncommon that the unstable ankle may have associated injuries such as cartilage damage, bone spurs, loose bodies, and inflammed joint lining tissue. Patients that fail 3-6 months of non-operative treatments or having severe pain from associated injuries may benefit from a surgical treatment. 

What is the role of surgical treatment?

Surgical treatments for ankle instability aim to decrease pain, improve propioceptive feedbacks, improve alignment, and restore ligamentous stability. Arthroscopy is an essential initial step of surgery to help treat intraarticular lesions, confirm the diagnosis, and detect associated conditions (Pictures below). Ruptured ligament should be anatomically repaired with or without augmentation using a synthetic tape or a tendon graft. It is important that associated conditions such as peroneal tendon damage, malalignment, and generalized ligamentous laxity are taken into account and possibly treated in the same setting for best outcomes. 

What is the recovery after a surgical repair of ankle instability?

Recovery depends on the details of surgical repair, quality of soft tissue, adjunct procedures, and patient's overall mobility. Typically, the patient is allow to bear full weight on the affected ankle right away using a walking boot. Patients should use crutches or a walker for enhanced stability. For prolonged ambulation, a knee scooter may be considered. Ankle motion should start on the next day after surgery to prevent stiffness especially in dorsiflexion. Patients can usually wean off from the boot by 6 weeks and gradually return to sports using a lace-up ankle brace. 

What are the benefits and risks for a repair of an unstable ankle?

Benefits: restored stability, prevention of future reinjury, treatment of associated painful conditions

Risks: nerve irritation, wound infection, deep vein thrombosis, painful scar, reinjury

Why should I choose Dr. P for a treatment of ankle instability?

Dr. P is a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of ankle instability with peer-reviewed publications.

-Dr. P is one of the most experienced arthroscopists in Midwest who has performed hundreds of ankle ligament repair procedures.

-Dr. P is a master instructor for the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) who has taught numerous surgeons around the country

-Dr. P is patient-oriented for achieve goals and expectations of successful outcomes 

What do patients say about Dr. P?

-Getting to know Dr. P (https://fb.watch/23A9qI1hbj/)

-Dr. P’s Patient Reviews (https://www.google.com/search?q=phinit+phisitkul%2C+md&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS763US763&oq=phinit&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j46i39i175i199i457j69i59j69i61l2j69i65j69i61.2471j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8)

(https://www.healthgrades.com/physician/dr-phinit-phisitkul-xsk3r)

(https://health.usnews.com/doctors/phinit-phisitkul-1896388#patient-experience)

(https://www.sharecare.com/doctor/dr-phinit-phisitkul)

Author
Phinit Phisitkul, MD

You Might Also Enjoy...

Minimally Invasive Hammertoe Correction

Minimally invasive hammertoe correction is a new technique in the correction of hammertoe deformity using percutaneous tools through 3-mm stab incisions. Bone deformity and soft tissue can be effectively corrected without metal implants.

Minimally Invasive Bunion Correction

Minimally Invasive Bunion Correction (MIS) is a versatile technique to provide a correction of bunion of various degrees of severity through 3-mm stab incisions. Benefits include minimal pain, less stiffness, early recovery, and immediate weightbearing.

High arch is causing my foot problems. What is the solution?

High arch is a common condition for patients in Midwest. Patients often feel unstable and tend to overload the lateral border of the foot. Proper diagnosis is paramount. Treatments options are available ranging from exercise, orthotics, to surgical repair.

I broke my ankle! What should I do?

Ankle joint is at risk for various types of injuries. When a displaced fracture occurs, surgical treatment is often indicated. The goal of treatment is to restore anatomy, biomechanics, and function of the ankle joint while minimizing complications.

What is the treatment for painful Achilles tendon?

Achilles tendon is subjected to daily extreme forces over 12-times bodyweight. Tendon damage can occur at any location along the posterior heel. Various treatment options are available depending on the type, location, and severity of tendon injury.