Auteur: Podiatre Montreal
If you have ever had a sprained ankle, you are at risk for the development of a condition called “chronic ankle instability”. People with chronic ankle instability are prone to repeated ankle sprains. This is a very serious problem, because every time you have a sprained ankle you increase the chances of developing ankle arthritis later in life. In addition, every time you have a sprained ankle, it is even more likely that you will do it again.
Why does my ankle still hurt months after my sprain?
If you have unstable ankles or if you “twist your ankle” occasionally, are at risk of falling due to a lack of ankle control, or have had more than one ankle sprain, you should make an appointment to see us in our Montreal office as soon as possible. Chronic ankle instability can be treated successfully. There are many studies indicating the most effective ways to treat chronic ankle instability; we have developed an effective protocol for treating unstable ankles based on these studies.
Slow healing of ankle sprains
If you’ve had an ankle sprain that doesn’t seem to heal as quickly as you think it should, the most common cause is lateral instability of the ankle. Most patients with this problem come to us only several months after their ankle sprain. However, the sooner you come to us, the sooner you will regain your activity level. If you have a sprained ankle and are still experiencing pain, regardless of how long it has been since your injury, make an appointment to see us as soon as possible.
The three most important aspects of treatment are:
Until you develop sufficient strength and balance to avoid injuring the ankle again, we will prescribe the use of an ankle brace to protect your ankle. As your strength and balance improve, we will let you know when you can stop using the ankle brace.
- Improve balance
The standard treatment for ankle sprains focuses on strengthening the ankle. However, research shows that it is much more important to focus on improving balance rather than strength. As part of your treatment, you will need to follow a program to improve balance – especially on the injured side.
- Custom-made foot orthotics: Numerous studies have shown that chronic ankle instability decreases significantly with the use of custom-made foot orthotics. A 2002 study compared two groups of people – one group had no history of ankle problems and the other group had chronic ankle instability. Each group was then asked to stand on one leg on an unstable surface without an orthosis and then with an orthosis. The amount of ankle instability was measured in each situation. The results showed that the group with no ankle problems experienced no change in stability with or without an orthosis. The group with ankle problems, however, experienced a significant increase in ankle stability with the orthosis. This effect has been demonstrated in many similar studies.
What to expect at our office
In patients with chronic ankle instability, our treatment program often includes the following:
- Performing several tests to assess the extent of ankle instability.
- Recommendations for adequate ankle protection during the healing and rehabilitation process.
- The design of a therapy program with a particular focus on improving the balance of the injured ankle
- The prescription of a specialized custom-made orthosis specifically designed to reduce ankle instability and prevent future sprains.
- We can almost always treat chronic ankle instability with conservative treatment. Surgery is almost never necessary.
What to do before you see us:
You must protect your ankle and prevent further sprains. We recommend that you wear an ankle brace.
We can offer you help even if you have had an ankle sprain for years. Contact us today to start a treatment program.
How to do soft restraint for an unstable ankle or a sprain
Some patients may not be able to wear an ankle brace throughout their treatment. If you cannot wear an ankle brace, soft restraints can also provide adequate support.2021