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How to Prevent Chronic Ankle Instability After a Severe Sprain

How to Prevent Chronic Ankle Instability After a Severe Sprain

Ankle sprains are prevalent, accounting for over two million injuries in the United States yearly. Of these injuries, over 70% of people have long-lasting effects on the affected ankle, including chronic instability.

There are ways, however, to prevent chronic instability after a severe ankle sprain. Taking care of the sprain immediately is one of the keys to preventing long-term issues.

If you’ve suffered an ankle sprain, the experienced team at Alpha Orthopedics & Sports Medicine provides quick and efficient treatment to ease pain and keep other issues from arising.

Dr. Brian Snow and Dr. Jon Thompson are our two orthopedic specialists who offer state-of-the-art imaging and cutting-edge treatments to get you back on your feet after an ankle sprain.

Signs of a severe ankle sprain

An ankle sprain is a common injury that doesn’t affect only athletes, although it’s extremely prevalent in sports. However, you can also sprain your ankle by stepping off the curb incorrectly or rolling your ankle on a hike.

You always want to pay attention to an ankle sprain, which needs the proper treatment and time to heal. If you suffer an ankle injury and feel any of the following symptoms, you may be dealing with a  sprain:

There are different types of ankle sprains, each of which varies in severity. A mild sprain may not require much treatment, just a few days of rest and ice. However, more severe sprains require expert treatment to prevent complications like chronic ankle instability.

Understanding chronic ankle instability

Chronic ankle instability is an unfortunate outcome of recurring or severe ankle sprains. The condition causes the ankle to continually give way on the lateral side, leading to various symptoms, including:

You’re at risk for chronic ankle instability if you suffer an ankle sprain. If you’re not careful and don’t allow the sprain to heal completely, your chances of developing this condition skyrocket.

Sprained ankles lead to stretching and tearing of connective tissues and ligaments, causing issues with weakness and balance. Without the proper care and treatment, these tissues retain damage and lead to instability in your ankle.

Tips to prevent ankle instability after a sprain

The key to preventing chronic ankle instability is fully rehabilitating your ankle sprain completely. Taking the time to complete physical therapy and avoid further ankle sprains helps to keep instability at bay.

We offer several measures to help you keep your ankle joint intact, including the following tips and treatments:

Bracing or casting

You may not require immobilization for a mild sprain, but more severe sprains require a few days to weeks of bracing or casting to allow it to heal. The brace or cast also provides stability to prevent further injury to the ankle.

Early weight bearing

During the first phase of treatment, early weight bearing is key to strengthening the sprained ankle to avoid further injury. It also keeps the ankle from getting stiff and immobile.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is one of the major keys to preventing chronic ankle instability after a sprain. Our physical therapists take the time to incorporate strength exercises and range-of-motion activities to regain stability in the ankle joint.

Balance exercises

Balance is a major component in preventing further injury to a sprained ankle. Physical therapy helps you incorporate balance exercises to regain stability in the affected ankle and keep you from further rolling your joint.

After an ankle sprain, don’t hesitate to call us at one of our three locations in McKinney, Prosper, and Sherman, Texas, to schedule a consultation with our orthopedic experts or request an appointment on the website.


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