Chronic Ankle Sprain

Chronic Ankle Sprain

What is Chronic Ankle Sprain?

Chronic ankle sprain, also known as chronic ankle instability, occurs due to an inadequate treatment method during the acute ankle sprain phase. It is characterized by feeling “loose” in the ankle and recurrent ankle sprain. Patients often complain that they will twist their ankles every now and then.

Causes of Chronic Ankle Sprain

There are two causes of chronic ankle sprains – loss of structural integrity and functional instability.

Loss of structural integrity occurs when there is significant injury or tear in the 3 lateral ankle ligaments – the anterior talofibular ligament, posterior talofibular ligament, or the calcaneofibular ligament.

Functional instability occurs when the ankle did not undergo proper rehabilitation. An acute ankle sprain causes proprioception, muscle coordination and postural control to be affected, and these are responsible for maintaining balance.

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Ankle Sprain

Signs and symptoms of chronic ankle sprain include:

  • Dull aching pain over the ankle after prolonged activity
  • Chronic swelling at the ankle
  • Feeling a sense of instability when walking, or feeling as if the foot is going to “give way”
  • Recurrent twisting of the ankle when walking
  • Hypermobile or excessive range of motion at the ankle

Chronic Ankle Sprain Treatment

Chronic ankle sprain treatment involves treating any injured ligaments and a process of ankle rehabilitation.

Treatment options include:

  • Customised Foot Orthoses to provide ankle stability support
  • Ankle-Foot Orthoses for severe cases of swelling and ligament damage
  • Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy to stimulate the repair of damaged joints and ligaments
  • Ankle strengthening and proprioception training

Your podiatrist will guide you through the proper recovery process and it is important to follow the advice carefully.

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