Dealing with Chronic Ankle Problems
Does your ankle twist easily, even when you’re standing still? Do you regularly feel like it’s going to “give out?” Do you suffer with ankle pain, soreness or stiffness? At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle we often see patients who have not recently had an ankle injury and are puzzled by these symptoms.
What’s the Issue?
The most common cause of chronic ankle pain and instability is a previous ankle sprain injury that was not fully healed or completely rehabilitated. In fact, it’s estimated that as many as 80% of untreated ankle sprains result in long-term ankle problems. In cases where treatment was received, many patients stop therapy when their ankle no longer hurts. But, failing to complete the full course of rehabilitation reduces the chances of muscles and other supporting structures to the ankle from being built up enough to reduce the risk of future sprains. Like a rubber band that’s been stretched out too many times, your ankle becomes vulnerable to repeated sprains and eventually loses its ability to function properly and without pain.
The first step to better ankle health is making an appointment at our Spring Hill (352 683-5799) or Hudson (727-868-2128) office for an evaluation by our podiatrist, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales. The foot doctor will get a medical history, including information about previous ankle injuries and treatments. In addition to physically examining your ankle, the podiatrist may order x-rays or other imaging studies to get a clear picture of past damage and the current condition of your ankle. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the foot doctor will determine the correct treatment which may include a combination of the following:
Medications—nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation
Bracing—an ankle brace can give needed support to the ankle and help prevent additional sprains.
Physical therapy—exercises to strengthen the ligaments, retrain muscles and improve balance and range of motion
If you have concerns about chronic ankle discomfort, contact us today.