Ankle Instability

What is it?

Injury to the main ligaments of the ankle joint. The ankle joint is supported by a number of strong ligaments that prevent the ankle giving way during normal activity. These ligaments can be injured when the ankle is 'twisted'.

What Causes it?

Badly spraining the ankle in the past may have torn the supporting ligaments. If there has been no specific injury, it's possible that the ligaments be generally more 'stretchy'.

What are the symptoms?

The ankle will feel weak and there will be recurrent episodes of it giving way. It may have never felt right since the original injury and there will often be pain around the outside of the ankle.

How is the diagnosis made?

The doctor will listen to a description of the symptoms and will examine the foot and ankle. Plain x-rays are taken to ensure that there is no injury to the bone. X-rays with your doctor turning the feet inwards may also be helpful to see if the ankle joint is stable. An MRI scan is the best way of seeing if there is a significant injury to the ligaments and can also identify any damage to the surface of the joint.

What is the initial treatment?

Physiotherapy to help the body learn where the ankle joint is in space (proprioception) is key. This will often resolve the symptoms when combined with an ankle brace to support the ankle while it is strengthening.

If initial treatment doesn't work, what's next?

An operation to tighten up the ligaments on the outside of the ankle recreates the support that has been lost and allow the ankle to be rehabilitated with the help of your physiotherapist.

Our practice covers the following hospitals:

Parkside Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 971 8026

St Anthony's Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 335 4678

Ashtead Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 221441

New Victoria Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 9499000

Clock House Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 840837