Ankle Instability - Irvine, CA
X-ray showing significant lateral ankle instability. Irvine, CA.
With a thorough examination, proper diagnostic testing, and an appropriate surgical plan tailored to your individual needs, you can achieve excellent longstanding outcomes with very limited risk of potential complications for your ankle instability in Irvine, CA.
Ankle Instability in Irvine, CA
Chronic ankle instability in Irvine, CA is a common and possibly debilitating problem. It may become a problem following a single serious ankle sprain or due to multiple recurrent ankle sprains. The residual symptoms following ankle sprains may lead to chronic ankle instability with frequent giving out of the ankle. This condition may also lead to multiple additional ankle sprains and conditions such as arthritis, synovitis, or tendon irritation and injury. Our Irvine Podiatrist / Foot and Ankle Surgeon can discuss ankle instability at our Irvine, CA or Huntington Beach, CA offices.
Patients with chronic ankle instability in Irvine, CA often have a difficult time engaging in more strenuous activities, such as playing sports and running, due to feelings of ankle weakness, loss of balance, or pain in the outside of the ankle. Frequently the ankle becomes increasingly swollen and painful over time and the feeling of the ankle being unstable becomes greater. As the ligaments in the outside of the ankle become more and more stretched beyond their normal position, the patient may experience turning in of the ankle (inversion) even during normal daily activities.
How is ankle instability in Irvine, CA treated?
Conservative treatment options for ankle instability, may include immobilization or bracing during the early stages following acute injury. Our Irvine Foot and Ankle Surgeon may prescribe anti-inflammatory and pain medications in order to resolve the pain and swelling. After acute symptoms diminish, strengthening exercises are given in order to strengthen the positional (proprioceptive) ligaments affecting the ankle joint. Physical therapy may also be considered in order to develop increased strength in the ankle.
X-rays are normally done by our foot and ankle surgeon in order to evaluate the bone structures of the ankle for abnormality, arthritis, or signs of injury. If symptoms fail to improve, advanced imaging, such as a CT scan or MRI, may be completed in order to further evaluate the underlying cause. These studies often show increased scar tissue in the ankle, tendonitis or tendon tears, and bony abnormalities within the ankle bone (talus).
Surgical Treatment Options in Irvine, CA
If conservative treatment options fail or the problem causes an inability for the patient to perform daily desired activities, surgical treatment may be considered. Surgical treatment options for ankle instability vary based on the underlying cause. The foot and ankle surgeon may consider an ankle arthroscopy procedure in Irvine, CA to remove scar or fibrous tissue from the ankle joint and repair lesions with the ankle bone (talus) if needed.
If ligament or tendon pathology, such as thickenening or tearing, exists, an open procedure may be performed. The surgeon will make an incision overlying the outside of the ankle and inspect the damaged ligaments and tendons. The tendons may be debrided, repaired, joined together (tenodesis), transfered, or excised. The ligament structures may also be repaired, either with a combination of sutures or implants, in order to reconstruct the ankle ligaments. The overlying structures are then repaired by the surgeon and the skin is then closed with either sutures or staples.
What can I expect following the surgery in Irvine, CA?
Following surgery you will be placed in a splint or cast, which will require you to remain non-weightbearing to the operative leg. A transition to a walking boot will then occur, possibly followed by an ankle brace, prior to beginning full weightbearing. You may also be referred to physical therapy post-operatively in order to increase strength and decrease scar tissue in the ankle joint. The time the patient will remain non-weightbearing will vary somewhat based on the procedure performed, but it can be anticipated that it will take several weeks until the patient is returned to full weightbearing on operative leg.