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foot and ankle problems
Ankle instability is a condition characterized by the ankle "giving way" or feeling unstable particularly when walking on uneven surfaces. The stability of the ankle is supported by ligaments on the outer aspect of the foot named the anterior talo-fibular ligament and the calcaneo-fibular ligament. Ankle sprains tear or elongate these ligaments to varying degrees.
Instability is characterized by the foot giving way. The feeling that the ankle is not reliable and loose. It may also be associated with pain and swelling to the outer aspect of the ankle.
Chronic instability of the ankle results from the ligaments not healing after a severe sprain or more commonly, repeated sprains. This is a very common occurrence during sporting activities such as football, futsal, rugby and badminton. These injuries may range from stretching of the ligament to complete tears.
If your ankle feels unstable or you have sustained repeated ankle sprains, please consult you Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon for a full assessment. The diagnosis is usually achieved simply from the history and examination. Stress radiographs (xrays) are best to demonstrate that the ankle joint is unstable. An MRI may also be taken if there is a suspicion of cartilage damage to the ankle joint.
Treatment is dependant of the level of one activity.
  1. Simple ankle sprains are treated with physiotherapy. This is to retrain the ankle to gain its nerve functions again.

  2. Surgery:
    1. Damaged ligaments maybe tightened and reattached to the bones. This is a very successful procedure and is usually performed in active individuals and athletes and is the method of choice at the Kuala Lumpur Foot Ankle Clinic (KLFAC).
    2. If all has failed, tenodesis surgery can be performed. This involves ligament reconstruction using a tendon harvested from another part of the body. This is very durable but it will lead to stiffness of the ankle.
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