How to Keep a Sprained Ankle From Becoming Chronic Instability

Maybe you sprained your ankle while playing soccer or on your evening run. Or perhaps you sprained it while walking down the stairs or taking the dog for a walk. Regardless of how you did it, if you don’t take care of a sprained ankle correctly, you increase your risk of developing chronic ankle instability.

Chronic ankle pain and instability can severely disrupt your life, so no matter how badly you want to get back to your sport or run for that subway, don’t rush your recovery. John Jurcisin, DPM, our experienced podiatrist here at Precision Footcare in Midtown East, New York City, can help you recover and reduce your risk of future ankle problems. 

What are signs of ankle instability?

Ankle instability is almost always due to a sprain that didn’t heal correctly. Ankle instability can feel like your ankle is giving way, usually after or while you’re walking or running. You might also experience:

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, make an appointment with us today. If you don’t get the treatment you need, your symptoms could continue to get worse.

How should I care for a sprained ankle?

The best way to deal with ankle instability is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This means that if you sprain your ankle or sustain another injury, you need to get treatment and advice from a trained and licensed podiatrist. 

While most ankle sprains are mild and heal with the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation), you do need to be patient with your recovery and not rush back to your regular physical activities before you’re fully recovered. A mild sprain can take several weeks to heal, and more severe injuries can take months.

What are the nonsurgical treatments for sprained ankles?

In addition to the RICE protocol, Dr. Jurcisin may recommend physical therapy and other noninvasive procedures. For example, as you heal, Dr. Jurcisin may recommend that you wear a brace when you return to your daily activities and sports for extra support. He might also recommend custom orthotics to ensure your foot and ankle move correctly and that your ankles have sufficient support. 

Physical therapy can help you rebuild your strength and flexibility in the muscles and connective tissues in your calves, ankles, and feet. Your therapy may include practice exercises to improve your balance and flexibility, which can help prevent future injuries. 

Dr. Jurcisin might also recommend platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to accelerate the healing process. 

Do I need surgery for a sprained ankle?

Surgery is only necessary to repair the most severe ankle sprains and in cases where a milder injury didn’t heal correctly and led to chronic instability and pain. Here at Precision Footcare, Dr. Jurcisin offers minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to repair torn and overstretched ligaments

Remember, the best way to avoid chronic ankle instability and pain is to make sure mild ankle injuries have sufficient time to heal. Getting treatment and advice from an experienced podiatrist like Dr. Jurcisin can help you recover quickly and safely while reducing your risk of chronic or recurring ankle problems. Give us a call or make an appointment online today. 

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