Having your ankle give way beneath you is unpleasant, but if it happens rarely, it probably has more to do with the walking surface or your footwear than any underlying problem. But when ankle instability is persistent or chronic, it can lead to serious injury. At Colorado Foot + Ankle Sports Medicine in Parker, Colorado, double-board certified Dr. Kevin Blue, DPM, FACFAS, evaluates ankle instability in athletes and other patients to determine the specific cause of weakness and joint dysfunction. Then he recommends the most appropriate treatment to help you improve your strength, balance, and mobility and to prevent future ankle-related issues.
Ankle instability is a chronic condition that causes the ankle to “give way” when walking or even when standing. It most commonly develops in people who have had a serious sprain that hasn’t healed properly or in people who have had multiple ankle sprains.
When you sprain your ankle, the ligaments that support the joint are stretched or sometimes torn. When the ligaments don’t heal properly, they can weaken over time, leading to chronic instability. Chronic ankle instability is common, especially among athletes whose ankles are subjected to considerable strain. It can also become more common with age.
Chronic ankle instability causes symptoms like:
During your evaluation, Dr. Blue will ask you about your symptoms and how they occur. Then he’ll carefully examine your ankle and your foot to look for areas of tenderness or swelling, and he may order X-rays or other imaging studies to help guide treatment. He’ll also ask about any past sprains or other ankle-related problems you may have had and the physical activities you enjoy to ensure that your treatment is tailored to your needs.
Treatment of ankle instability is focused on helping you regain control and strength in the joint so you can participate in all sorts of activities without fear of future injury. First, Dr. Blue will consider conservative nonsurgical treatment options, including:
In some cases, Dr. Blue may recommend surgery to repair damaged ligaments and restore other tissues. Surgery typically is only considered when conservative approaches aren’t effective or when damage is so severe, conservative options aren’t feasible. The type of surgery will be based on your specific needs and your options will be discussed in detail to help you feel confident in your care every step of the way.
"Extremely knowledgeable about foot and ankle conditions. Wonderful doctor, great office and staff, would recommend his services to anyone."
"Dr. Blue has great bedside manner and is a great surgeon as well. He has cared for many of my patients, friends and co-workers and the feedback is always excellent."
"I was lucky enough to be referred to Dr. Blue and he was able to come up with a treatment plan that has cleared up my gout issues and has given me a new hop in my step."
"I am very selective about the doctors I see, so I chose Dr. Blue based on his reviews and certifications. Dr. Blue is thorough and detailed oriented."