Lateral Ankle Instability

Lateral Ankle Instability

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Recommended Exercise

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Orthotic Device And Benefits

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Lateral Ankle Instability

Foot

What is Lateral Ankle Instability?

Lateral ankle instability is a condition in which the outer (lateral) side of the ankle gives way, or collapses, when a person is walking or running. This repeated “giving way” can result in chronic pain and swelling, and sometimes even a feeling that the ankle is “locking” or “catching.”

Lateral ankle instability is also known as chronic ankle instability. The term “chronic” refers to the fact that the lateral ankle gives way frequently, rather than just occasionally.

What are the types of Lateral Ankle Instability?

There are two types of lateral ankle instability: functional or mechanical instability.

Functional instability can occur due to a sudden twist or turn that causes the foot to roll inward or outward (inversion or eversion). This type of instability is most common in people who participate in activities that require quick turns and fast changes in direction.

Mechanical instability arises either via an acute injury or chronic repetitive stress resulting in attenuation and alteration of the mechanical structures of the ligaments. In these cases, the ankle joint becomes unstable because of a defect in its structure.

What are the causes of Lateral Ankle Instability?

There are a number of causes for Lateral Ankle Instability, including hereditary conditions that affect the connective tissues in your body. For some people, it can be caused by an injury to the lateral ligament or the ankle itself.

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects collagen, a protein found in your body’s connective tissues. Collagen helps keep your joints and body tissues strong and flexible, but in Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, the body doesn’t produce enough collagen or the protein is defective.

 People with this condition have hypermobile joints (that is, they’re more flexible than normal), which means they’re prone to sprains, strains and dislocations. The unstable ligaments and joints can cause a number of other problems, including skin that bruises easily, loose joints and early-onset osteoarthritis.

Marfan’s syndrome

Marfan’s syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects connective tissue throughout the body. This can result in an increase in height, long limbs, arachnodactyly (abnormally long fingers), scoliosis (curvature of the spine), mitral valve prolapse (heart disease), and ectopia lentis (displacement of the lens of the eye). The most common symptom associated with Marfan’s syndrome is joint instability.

Turner’s syndrome

Turner’s syndrome is also known as monosomy X or 45XO because it involves an abnormal chromosome count in females (XX). Women who have Turner’s syndrome usually experience short stature and cubitus valgus (a deformity where the elbow turns inward). They may also have webbed neck or low-set ears, high-arched palate, congenital heart disease or renal abnormalities. Joint instability can be caused by fractures or ligament tears due to weak bones or muscles.

What are the symptoms of Lateral Ankle Instability?

The symptoms of Lateral Ankle Instability are:

  • Pain at the outside (lateral) part of your ankle
  • Swelling and bruising around your ankle
  • Difficulty moving your ankle up and down, side-to-side and forward/backward
  • Foot drop (inability to lift the front part of your foot)

What are the risk factors for Lateral Ankle Instability?

There are many risk factors for lateral ankle instability, including:

  • If you’re older than 40 years old, you have an increased risk of developing this condition.
  • Foot problems like flat feet or high arches. If you have either of these foot issues, your risk of developing lateral ankle instability increases.
  • Previous injury to the ankle or knee. If you’ve had an injury to either joint in the past, it can increase your risk of developing lateral ankle instability as well.

Recommended Exercise

Foot

What are the exercises for Lateral Ankle Instability?

Lateral ankle instability is a condition in which the ankle joint is unstable, causing it to shift out of place. This can cause pain and instability in the affected foot and ankle, making it hard to walk or stand on your feet.

The good news is that lateral ankle instability can often be treated with physical therapy. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy if you have an ankle injury that causes pain or problems with movement.

During physical therapy for lateral ankle instability, you will work with a therapist who will teach you exercises designed to strengthen and stabilize your ankles. These exercises may include:

  • Stretching exercises for the Achilles tendon and calf muscles
  • Exercises to improve core strength (such as planks)
  • Exercises to improve balance and coordination

What are the treatments for Lateral Ankle Instability?

There are a number of different treatments for Lateral Ankle Instability (LAI).

The most common is physical therapy, which is often used in conjunction with orthotics and/or taping. Sometimes the physical therapist will prescribe specific exercises or stretches that can be done at home to help relieve the symptoms of LAI.

A doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium to reduce pain and swelling, though these can cause stomach ulcers if taken long term.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary. This is most common when the condition has been present for a long time and doesn’t respond to other treatment measures. Surgery involves realigning the bones in the ankle joint so they fit together more closely, which helps stabilize it against twists and turns.

Explanation of Recommended Orthotic Device

Back

What brace is used for Lateral Ankle Instability?

The Hinged Ankle brace is used for Lateral Ankle Instability.

This brace is designed to protect the ankle and improve stability by providing lateral support.

The hinge provides the patient with a wide range of motion, which can help alleviate pain and swelling in the ankle.

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