Lateral Ankle Ligament Instability

What is Lateral Ankle Ligament Instability

Lateral ankle ligament tears are among the most common injuries. Nearly everyone at some point has rolled their ankle. Fortunately most of these injuries heal. However, about 10% of them go on to develop chronic ankle instability–meaning that ankle continues to roll or turn inward easily following an injury. People that have lateral ankle ligament instability feel like their ankle rolls easily on uneven surfaces, or feel that they cannot “trust” their ankle especially on rough terrain.

Lateral Ankle Ligament Instability

Possible Longterm Impacts

In some cases, patients can have functional instability due to muscular weakness or impaired proprioception. Proprioception is the ability to sense what position your ankle is in space.

Therapy and Bracing

Functional instability and even mechanical instability due to ligament tears can often be effectively treated with physical therapy. The ankle is stabilized by not only the ligaments or bands of tissue that connect bone to bone at joints, but also by muscles that pull on tendons that support the ankle. By retraining the muscles that support the ankle to act when the ankle gets into certain positions can prevent the ankle from rolling. Some patients even do well with bracing.  If patients fail physical therapy and bracing, surgery can be performed to advance or tighten the ligaments or even reconstruct them to prevent instability. Most procedures to correct instability are completed on an outpatient basis.

Schedule an Appointment with Boise’s Premier Ankle Expert

If bracing and therapy fail to give you the outcome you need, schedule a consultation with Dr. Flint at the Flint Foot and Ankle Institute. Our team will assess your situation and provide you with a course of treatment designed to get you back to where you want to be. This may or may not include surgical intervention. Every patient is different, every ankle is different! We look forward to helping you!