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Ankle Instability

Most people will recover from the ankle sprain, but a small proportion of people develop chronic ankle instability.​​

Signs and Symptoms

Ankle instability, if not adequately treated, may lead to chronic​ instability and is associated with peroneal tendon injuries, ankle cartilage injuries, ankle imping​ement and subtalar joint instability. These may result in persistent pain​ and ​swelling.

Causes and Risk factors

Chronic ankle instability often presents with recurrent sprains and a feeling of "giving way" of the ankle that results in pain, swelling or inability to carry ​out activites required by the individual patients.​

Treatments and Programmes​

Acute ankle i​nstability can be initially treated with physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the ankle to compensate for the unstable ligament.​​

Splints or braces may be prescribed to aid with stability. However, if this fails, surgical treatments may be considered. Surgical reconstruction may be performed either via a minimally invasive or open incision. Surgery is aimed at repairing and tightening the soft tissues around the ankle to restore joint stability. When this is not possible, a reconstr​uction of the ligaments with a tendon harvested from the patient or a donor may be utilised.

Contributed by Department of Orthopaedic Surgery