Treatment for chronic ankle instability is based on the results of the examination and tests, as well as on the patient’s level of activity. Nonsurgical treatment may include:
When Is Surgery Needed?
- Physical therapy - Physical therapy involves various treatments and exercises to strengthen the ankle, improve balance and range of motion and retrain your muscles. As you progress through rehabilitation, you may also receive training that relates specifically to your activities or sport.
- Bracing - Some patients wear an ankle brace to gain support for the ankle and keep the ankle from turning. Bracing also helps prevent additional ankle sprains.
- Medications - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.
In some cases, the foot and ankle surgeon will recommend surgery based on the degree of instability or lack of response to nonsurgical approaches. Surgery usually involves repair or reconstruction of the damaged ligament(s). The surgeon will select the surgical procedure best suited for your case based on the severity of the instability and your activity level. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.