Ankles are among your most vulnerable joints. Not only do they have to bear almost the full weight of your body, but they do so while requiring the flexibility, power, and range of motion that allows you to forcefully run and jump, and gracefully land and dance. It’s no wonder that ankle sprains are perhaps the most common of all sports injuries!
It's also no wonder that chronic ankle problems, including constant pain, wobbliness, lateral instability, and a history of frequent sprains can be so frustrating and damaging to your long-term health and happiness. Even if you aren’t currently suffering from a sprain or fracture, the lack of security in your footing can greatly restrict your ability to enjoy activities.
That’s why it’s important to address chronic ankle problems head on. Our experts will take a close look at your ankle, as well as talk with you about your symptoms and history. We’ll want to know if you’ve injured your ankle in the past—if so, how many times, and when? We may also take an X-ray or perform other tests. We do this because there are so many possible causes for ankle pain and instability—sprains, fractures, arthritis, nerve injuries, scar tissue, etc.—and the best course of treatment depends greatly on the underlying source of your problems.
Once we’ve zeroed in on a cause, we’ll offer our treatment solutions. Some of the most frequently beneficial remedies for chronic ankle pain and instability include:
- Physical therapy. We’ll guide you through a series of stretches and exercises you can do at home to help you re-train and strengthen the muscles that support your ankle joint, as well as increase your range of motion and balance.
- Bracing. Sometimes you need a little external support, especially when performing activities that put the ankle at risk.
- Medication. Oral pills as well as injections can help manage temporary pain and swelling.
- Immobilization. If you have a bad sprain or fracture, placing your foot in a cast or walking boot for a time will protect the ankle during the healing process.
- Surgery. Although we try to avoid it as much as possible, sometimes surgery is necessary if conservative treatments are ineffective. You may also need surgery to clean joint surfaces, remove loose bone chips, repair or reconstruct supporting tendons and ligaments, etc.
Chronic ankle pain doesn’t have to follow you wherever you go, even if you’ve been fighting it for a long time. That being said, the earlier you seek help for your painful or unstable ankle, the better long-term outcome you’re likely to achieve. To schedule your appointment at one of our six convenient Greater Cincinnati locations, please call today at (888) 689-3317.