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Finding Steady Ground: Understanding and Addressing Chronic Ankle Instability

The team at CarePlus Foot and Ankle Specialists knows there’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to foot and ankle health, but while it may be tempting to ignore certain conditions, there are some that should not be taken lightly. This includes chronic ankle instability, a challenging ailment that can negatively affect day-to-day activities and prevent you from moving through your day with ease. In this blog post, we'll delve into the intricacies of chronic ankle instability, exploring its causes, symptoms, and ways you can help minimize the effects of this condition.

Unlike a sudden ankle injury that causes temporary issues but ultimately heals, chronic ankle instability is an ongoing condition that generally does not resolve over a finite period of time. With injuries such as sprains, you’re most likely going to be back to feeling like your old self once the ligaments heal. In cases where the ligaments don’t fully heal, you may be left dealing with long-lasting effects. Since this condition is chronic, it’s highly recommended to seek professional care before the ailment turns into something worse, such as arthritis.

Causes of Chronic Ankle Instability:

  1. Weak or damaged ligaments.
  2. Repeated ankle sprains or previous injuries that did not fully heal properly.
  3. Bone spurs.
  4. Scar tissue.
  5. Nerve damage.
  6. Genetics.

Symptoms of Chronic Ankle Instability:

  1. Persistent feeling that the ankle is unstable and wobbly.
  2. Ankles often turn out or “give way,” especially when playing sports or walking on uneven surfaces.
  3. Swelling, pain, and tenderness.
  4. Difficulty balancing on one leg.

Ways to help:

  1. Physical therapy and targeted exercises that strengthen the ankle and improve balance and stability.
  2. Choose appropriate footwear that offers ankle stability and support in addition to proper arch support.
  3. Ankle braces may prove useful in guaranteeing proper ankle support.

Understanding how chronic ankle instability differs from a typical ankle injury is essential before receiving the treatment and support needed to combat the condition. If you think you may be experiencing chronic ankle instability, don’t wait to get help.

Dr. Hubert Lee and the team at CarePlus Foot and Ankle Specialists are here to guide you toward relief from chronic ankle instability, as well as any other foot-related issues you’re experiencing! You can schedule an appointment online or call today at 425-455-0936.

Dr. Hubert Lee

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