Ankle sprains are the most common sports injury – with an estimated 2+ million occurring annually in the United States. And if you’ve had a sprained ankle, you’re at increased risk for having long-term ankle issues. What’s more, up to 70% of people with an ankle sprain will suffer another in the future.
Symptoms of Ankle Instability
Repeated ankle sprains are both a symptom and a cause of a weak and unstable ankle. Each time you twist or roll your ankle, the ligaments on the outside of your ankle can stretch or tear, creating a perpetual cycle of recurring injuries and ankle pain.
Chronic ankle instability occurs when the damaged ligaments fail to heal properly. The loose ligaments cannot protect your ankle from rolling outwardly. Symptoms of chronic ankle instability include:
- Your ankle “gives away” when walking on uneven surfaces
- Pain or tenderness in your ankle
- Chronic ankle swelling
- Feeling unstable or wobbly
- Repetitive ankle sprains
Initial Treatment Options
The orthopaedic foot and ankle specialists at Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics typically treat ankle instability first with non-surgical interventions starting with “RICE” – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, sports taping or ankle support braces are also used. If these conservative treatments fail and you have repetitive strains, you may need surgery to provide long lasting stability.
When Surgery Is Needed
CSMO offers the InternalBrace procedure to tighten and repair the damaged ligaments that support the ankle. It’s an enhancement to primary surgery that can offer greater stabilization while your ankle it while it heals. Patients who have had the InternalBrace procedure report a faster recovery process and a more immediate range of motion. Because early post-surgery movement is possible, it promotes healthy ligament healing that leads to a stronger and more stable ankle.
How does the InternalBrace Procedure work?
The goal of surgery is to restore strength and stability to the ankle by repairing the injured ligament. InternalBrace repair augments the primary surgical repair using special anchors to provide additional points of fixation that hold the ligament to your ankle bone while you heal.
The surgery requires only a small incision on the outside of your ankle. Suture anchors repair the torn ankle ligament and the InternalBrace secures the repair. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis in less than an hour.
If you’re ready to get back on your feet and stand strong, call (423) 624-2969 today to schedule an appointment with one of CSMO’s foot and ankle specialists.