How to Prevent Chronic Instability After a Severe Ankle Sprain

Jun 24, 2024
How to Prevent Chronic Instability After a Severe Ankle Sprain
 Ankle sprains hurt in the moment, but also have long-term consequences such as instability and an increased risk of future injury. Learn about the steps you need to take to prevent any permanent damage to your ankles.

You've twisted your ankle in an unusual manner. It could have happened during a fall or from receiving a blow to the ankle. Regardless of the cause, you're now experiencing pain, inflammation, swelling, and an ankle sprain.

Ankle sprains occur when ligaments are forced beyond their normal range of motion. These bands of fibrous tissues, connecting within a joint, ensure the stability of your bones. Without these ligaments to hold the ankle bones in their normal positions, the bones of the ankle would separate.

Severe ankle sprains present unique challenges. They cause immediate pain and can lead to instability in the long term, increasing your risk of future sprains.

If you've suffered an injury, keep reading as our experts at Ledesma Foot and Ankle, located in  Scottsdale, Arizona, explain how to relieve pain and prevent future complications.

Preventing chronic instability after a severe ankle sprain

Chronic instability is a risk factor after a severe ankle sprain. However, under the care of an experienced podiatrist, and with a tailored treatment plan, you can prevent chronic instability and future sprains

R.I.C.E. method

The R.I.C.E. protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is crucial after a severe ankle sprain to reduce swelling and pain. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible is also crucial for your recovery, as you may need a brace or a splint to stabilize your joints and bones after the injury. 

Physical therapy 

Once you’re pain-free, a physical therapist will guide you in safely improving the strength, flexibility, and stability of your injured ankle.

Physical therapy prevents scar tissue formation, ensuring a stronger, more flexible ankle less susceptible to injuries. If you skip physical therapy after a severe ankle sprain, your ankle will be weaker than before the injury, less flexible, and more prone to future sprains. 

Supportive footwear and ankle braces 

Supportive footwear and ankle braces are another way to provide yourself with additional stability and reduce the risk of future sprains. Ankle braces restrict excessive movement without limiting your normal range of motion, reducing the risk of sudden twists and turns that may cause instability in your ankle. 

Treat your severe ankle sprain with us

For severe ankle sprains, our experts may recommend minimally invasive surgery to repair the torn ligaments, but there’s no telling whether you can benefit from a noninvasive treatment or a minimally invasive one unless you undergo some testing first, which we provide. 

If you've been injured, don't delay — contact us to schedule an appointment. The sooner you seek treatment, the greater the chance you’ll experience a smooth recovery.