Spraining your ankle even once creates a 30% chance that you'll face some form of recurring or chronic instability in the future. This instability can make it hard to enjoy your favorite activities again and lead to secondary symptoms like constant swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joint. Before your instability creates a serious problem for you, find out what four treatment options are available for restoring normal use of one or both ankles.
Resting and Recuperating
First, you may simply take more time off of the affected foot in order for it to completely heal. Ankle sprains can persist for months when you return to your usual work or workout routine too soon after an injury. Your doctor will likely recommend you try spending a week or more on crutches or on bed rest in order to give the ankle some time to naturally heal and stabilize itself. Watching how the ankle recovers and for signs like swelling change over the course of a rest period also gives the orthopedic specialist a lot of information about the condition of your joint and how best to treat it.
After the ankle is healed to the best of its ability, it may be necessary to build strength in the lower leg muscles and in the tendons and ligaments running directly around and through the ankle joint. This is usually accomplished either by an orthopedic doctor or by a physical therapist following their recommendations. A number of X-rays are taken first to determine how to best build strength equally on all sides of the ankle. This prevents an imbalance and further instability due to an overabundance of strengthening exercises that target just one side or part of the joint.
Operating for Basic Repairs
If rest and physical rehabilitation fail to strength an unstable ankle, conservative surgery is the next best option. It's relatively easy for a surgeon to quickly shorten tendons and ligaments and attach them in new ways to give an ankle enhanced support from the inside out. These surgeries usually have recovery periods that are only a few weeks so you can get back to your usual routine.
Addressing Bigger Issues with Advanced Surgery
For instability that persists after conservative surgeries, it may be necessary to try advanced grafts and stabilization through rods and other devices. This may reduce the mobility of the ankle joint, but it may be the only option to prevent more serious fall risks.
For more information, contact a company like Northern Care Inc Prosthetics & Orthotics.