Why Your Ankles Give Out

Some people enjoy sudden drops—which is why theme parks do so well. People go looking for the thrill of rocketing down hills or having a fake floor collapse under their feet. In real life, something collapsing like that is not as thrilling as it is painful. Anyone with unstable ankles that give out without warning can attest to that. Ankle instability actually affects quite a few people and makes normal activities very difficult for them.

An ankle that frequently “gives out” or collapses under too much pressure has a problem with chronic instability. Chronic ankle instability is an unfortunately common effect of sprains that don’t heal correctly, or repeated sprains to the same joint. This is because of how your ankles are constructed.

Your ankles are made up of three bones stacked above your heel bone and held together by ligaments. These ligaments are slightly stretchy and allow your joint to twist and turn all around, while still keeping the bones in place, stabilizing them. Injuries like sprains over-stretch and even tear these connective tissues, destabilizing your ankles. When this heals correctly, the damaged ligaments are repaired and other tissues around your joint help maintain your stability.

Unfortunately, not all sprains heal correctly, which then leads to unstable ankles. In these cases, the damaged ligaments never quite return to their strong, supportive selves. Instead, they are left loose or partially torn. They aren’t able to stabilize your joint anymore, so under the right pressure, your ankle just collapses to the side instead of standing strong.

Treating this does take time, and involves a lot of therapy to accommodate the damaged ligaments. The end goal is to manage your chronic ankle instability and help you avoid problems from your joint “giving out” under you. The sooner you deal with this condition, the easier it is to manage, so don’t wait to get help and protect you lower limbs. Our team at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona is happy to help you with this condition. You can make an appointment with us through our website. You can also call us directly or send us a fax: call (480) 963-9000 and fax (480) 963-0375.

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