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Important information for patients - Dr. Capeci and RYC Orthopaedics have moved into a beautiful new office on the Upper East Side. The new office is located at 55 East 86th Street, #1A, New York, NY 10028. The phone number is 212-348-3636; all prior phone and fax numbers will continue to work as well. Dr. Capeci will be seeing patients exclusively in this location and his office hours will continue to be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, replacing both prior locations. Please pardon our appearance and any confusion that comes with this transition. Please call the office with any questions or concerns. Dr. Capeci looks forward to welcoming you to our new space! Thank you.

What is Ankle Instability?

The joints of the ankle are held in place and stabilized by strong bands of tissue called ligaments. Ankle instability is a chronic condition characterized by a recurrent slipping of the outer side of the ankle. It usually results from repeated ankle sprains, which are injuries to the ligaments. Ankle instability is generally noticed when you move your ankle joint but can also occur while standing.

What Causes Ankle Instability?

Repetitive injury of the ankle ligaments on the same side is the most common cause of ankle instability. Inadequate healing of the sprained ligament or incomplete rehabilitation of the affected ligament can also result in ankle instability.

What are the Symptoms of Ankle Instability?

The most common symptoms associated with ankle instability include:

  • Pain in the ankle joint
  • Swelling and tenderness of the ankle
  • Persistent discomfort and instability
  • Giving way of the ankle while walking on uneven surfaces or during a sporting activity

How is Ankle Instability Diagnosed?

A complete medical history, including a history of any previous ankle injuries, and a physical examination is essential for an accurate diagnosis of the condition. An X-ray and other imaging tests may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis and further evaluate the injury.

How is Ankle Instability Treated?

The management of ankle instability depends on the findings of the physical examination and your level of activity.

Conservative treatment

Conservative treatment for ankle instability includes:

  • Physical therapy for improving the strength, balance, and range of motion of the joint
  • Bracing to support the affected ankle and prevent further sprain
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce the pain and inflammation

Surgical treatment

Surgery is recommended in patients with a high degree of instability and in those who have failed to respond to non-surgical treatment. Commonly used surgical procedures involve repair or reconstruction of the damaged ligament.