With so many good races coming up (including the not-too-distant Boston Marathon), you will want to make sure your feet and legs are in good running condition far in advance. This means taking care of those weak ankles to avoid an injury that could keep you on the sidelines for weeks to come.
Chronic ankle instability means that your ankle joints are more prone to “giving way” or falling out from underneath you. This usually happens when you engaging in physical activity, such as running or walking, but can happen even when you’re simply standing still. It’s usually the result of an old ankle injury that didn’t completely heal, so people who are physically active are more prone to having weak ankles. This can be very frustrating because, as anyone who loves to run and exercise knows, it can be hard to sit still! It’s important to take care of your feet and get the treatment you need, otherwise you could create an even more serious problem.
Your doctor will perform some tests, but after a diagnosis is made, treatment can begin. One of the first things you can do is to undergo a regimen of physical therapy. This will strengthen the surrounding tendons and ligaments so that your ankle will become less likely to collapse. Physical therapy can also help improve balance, increase your range of motion, and retrain muscles.
We may recommend braces for your feet and ankles to hold them steady as you move. In some cases, surgery may be necessary. Surgery is usually used for fixing the initial problem or repairing damaged ligaments. You will be off your feet for a few weeks to a few months while your ankles heal, at which point you will most likely need to re-engage in physical therapy to restore your joint movement and strength.
For more information about treating chronic ankle instability, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment in our North Andover, MA office.