Please call the office to schedule an appointment.
Skip to main content

How to Keep an Acute Ankle Sprain from Becoming a Chronic Instability

Sprained ankles are common, and even light ones impact the ankle’s supporting ligaments and joints. However, repeated ankle sprains can signal a budding instability problem. Increased ligament and joint laxity cause sprains to occur more frequently and cause even more damage. 

David Dickerson, MD, and Shawn Denning, DNP, APN, at Performance Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, serve many patients suffering from ankle sprains throughout Shrewsbury, Toms River, and Wall Township, New Jersey. They can help you avoid chronic instability from repeated sprains so you can live life on a more solid footing. 

What is a sprained ankle?

Unfortunately, sprained ankles are some of the most common musculoskeletal injuries nationwide. An old saying goes, “as easy as spraining an ankle,” which reveals much about how just one bad step can cause an injury. It’s not just a small matter; up to 70% of patients who sprained an ankle have more problems, including chronic ankle instability

Some of the immediate symptoms you may encounter with a sprained ankle include: 

Spraining an ankle means stretching or tearing the ligaments that connect the bones inside the ankle joint.

How can I avoid chronic ankle instability?

Protecting your ligaments from additional damage and promoting correct healing after an ankle injury is critical. Here’s how you should care for your ankle sprain:


Reduce the swelling as quickly as possible using the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation):

Do this as soon as possible after the injury while you contact Performance Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine for an appointment. 

2. Seek help from a specialist

Ligament issues can develop into serious and chronic problems without the proper treatment. Ankle sprains are more serious than you may imagine, and the temptation to “walk it off” may only worsen your condition. Ankle sprains typically fall into one of three grade categories

Performance Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine specialists assess your foot and ankle to identify which ligaments have been impacted and determine the extent of any damage. Your provider then creates a customized treatment strategy to protect your ankle while you heal properly. Our goal is to ensure that you regain full range of motion and strength in your ankle so you don’t sprain it again.  

3. Don’t rush your recovery

Even mild grade 1 ankle sprains may need up to a month of treatment and rehabilitation. Grade 2 or 3 sprains can require several months or longer to restore strength and range of motion in the area. We may recommend an extended course of physical therapy, joint aspiration, corticosteroid injections, or a customized brace, splint, or orthotic to help stabilize your ankle during recovery. 

If you’ve suffered an ankle sprain, call Performance Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at 732-691-4898 or request an appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Does Frozen Shoulder Get Better on Its Own?

Though your shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in your body, inflammation of the shoulder capsule can reduce the range of motion dramatically. Called frozen shoulder, the condition can be very long-lasting but usually resolves with time.
Can Osteoarthritis Be Reversed?

Can Osteoarthritis Be Reversed?

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of joint disease. If you’re lucky enough to live long enough, chances are you’ll eventually develop osteoarthritis. But can modern medicine, your diet, or anything else reverse the condition?

What to Expect from a Total Hip Replacement: Week One

Knowledge is power, and learning what to expect after a total hip replacement can help you feel confident and prepared for your upcoming surgery. Read on and explore everything you need to know about week one after a hip replacement.