Ankle instability is one of the most common ankle injuries and often goes undiagnosed. This is because instability is often simply a mild hindrance – it will make a person more likely to roll their ankle on uneven ground, or accommodate in certain ways to make up for the instability. Furthermore, many people aren’t even aware that they have ankle instability.
Instability in the ankle is most often caused by ligament damage from repeat ankle rolls, or a bad old ankle sprain. While these ligaments can partially recover on their own after such injuries, they often never return to full form without some form of treatment.
There are several common temporary treatment options for ankle instability, including:
• Taping, and braces
• Physical therapy exercises
• The RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
These treatments are fine, but in many cases may provide only brief relief. In some situations it is often only a matter of time before another sprain or related ankle injury occurs. Persistent ankle instability can cause people to stop playing sports and reduce their amount of exercise and activity. Others may develop bone spurs, tendon tears or arthritis.
Surgical repair of the ankle ligaments is frequently the best way to truly correct persistent ankle instability and the slew of problems that accompany it.
The Brostrom-Gould ligament reconstruction procedure is an excellent method for repairing ankle ligaments surgically, with a more than 95% success rate. Patients who undergo this surgery can, in many cases, walk again in 1-2 weeks post-op, and return to regular activity 3 months after the procedure.
Lance Silverman, MD
Silverman Ankle & Foot