What Is Ankle Instability? And What Are the Causes for The Same?

Foot problems are common amongst people around the world. Many of us do not even care about this problem as it gets better on its own after some days. But in many cases, this may turn out to be chronic which would require a doctor’s treatment. Ankle instability is one such case that we are going to discuss here in this article.

Podiatrists are the ones that focus their attention on treating people having foot, ankle, and lower leg problems. when it comes to ankle problems people usually ignore them thinking they will get better. Taking a wrong step or twisting the ankle can lead to injury but when this happens repeatedly then this is a chronic ankle instability that requires podiatrist attention. In such a case, calling a podiatrist Irvine will be the best option for you.

Details on Instability of Lateral Ankle 

The instability of lateral ankle, whether it is chronic or acute, is always a fast-worsening condition that must be treated immediately. To define it, it is either a mechanical or functional condition depending on its severity. Mechanical here is mild discomfort condition in the sides of the ankle, but when it exceeds the normal tolerance limits it causes functional issues. 

Functional condition is determined at the outer side of the ankle. Here there is a loss of neuromuscular or sensorimotor control. This is a difficult one to be treated. The best Irvine Podiatrist located in Orange County is Dr. Sima Soltani’s Podiatry Office. They provide an array of services like treatments for bunions, hammertoes, joints, ankle sprains, plantar wars, etc.  

Causes of Ankle Instability

Ankle instability is caused when the ankle gets injured repeatedly. In this case, the ankle doesn’t get healed properly before it is injured again. For a healthy ankle, you need the ligaments of your ankle that are stretched or torn to heal properly. An unhealthy ankle cannot support a body’s weight and makes it difficult for you to walk or move.

Another cause of ankle instability includes ankle joint arthritis, fracture, or swelling in the lining of the ankle bone. There can also be an injury to the nerve of the ankle or the build-up of scar tissue in the ankle.

However, with the help of a podiatrist, you can rehabilitate the affected areas where you can strengthen the ankle muscles and the ligaments can be restrained. This will heal your ankle progressively and the chances of development of chronic instability can be reduced.

Common signs and symptoms

The most common signs that you will see amongst people having ankle instability include constant discomfort, pain, and difficulty in walking or moving around. This can be a good way for a podiatrist to diagnose the problem. Other than this there might be symptoms like stiffness, and swelling in the area around the ankle. You might also feel the muscles tender and the overall ankle might look weak and unable to carry your body weight. It all depends on the person to person whether they might feel all the symptoms or some may notice only one or two.  


Diagnosis is said to be the first step in prevention and treatment. A podiatrist will determine the history of your ankle injury. He will look out for some signs and symptoms or might ask for an imagery test to diagnose the condition. 

Diagnosis will also be done to determine whether it is an acute or chronic condition, as the treatment will depend on this.


Depending on the diagnosis, there are two types of treatments available. That is a surgical or non-surgical treatment. Below are some options available:

  • Bracing: This is an advanced form of the healing process of damaged ligaments caused by an acute or lateral ankle sprain. Apart from healing, it also provides support to avoid any future injuries. This is a conservative form of treatment.
  • Physical therapy: This is used for strengthening the damaged ligaments and the muscles. It involves various types of treatments that help to regain balance and heal the lateral ankle
  • Medication: This is used to treat the inflammation and the pain in the affected areas. These kinds of drugs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Surgical treatments: This will be the last resort method to be used and will depend on the severity, level of activity, and degree of instability. But it is always better that you get the treatment done at the earliest because if it turns severe like the mechanical or functional lateral ankle instability then it will be difficult to be treated. 
  • Preventions: As discussed earlier, these types of injury happen due to ankle sprains which is very common in athletes. That’s why athletic people as well as military service members are more prone to this kind of injury. Thus, preventing such injuries can be done by top training programs like:

  • Prophylactic bracing
  • Early diagnosis

To conclude, it is always beneficial that you make a regular visit to your Orange County podiatrist that can keep an eye on the health of your foot. A well-trained and experienced podiatrist can keep your ankle health safe as well as properly rehabilitate it for proper healing. You should notice your symptoms and turn to help before it turns severe or chronic.