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Ankle Instability

If the ankle ligaments do not heal adequately, you may end up with ankle instability. This can cause the ankle to give way and feel untrustworthy on uneven terrain.


Many people who have ankle instability have weakness in the muscles along the outside of the leg and ankle.


Even if you don’t need surgery, you may need to follow a program of rehabilitation and exercise. We recommend patients work with a physical therapist at our center for four to six weeks. Your therapist can create a program to help you regain ankle function. It is very important to improve strength and coordination in the ankle.



Surgeons will occasionally do procedures right away in athletes who tears a lateral ankle ligament. In most other cases of torn ankle ligaments, surgeons will try nonsurgical treatments before doing reconstructive surgery of the ligaments.


After surgery, you will probably be placed in a cast or brace for about six weeks to allow the tendon reconstruction to heal. Following removal of the cast, physical therapy will be required to regain full use of the ankle.


When you are well under way, regular visits to the therapist’s office will end. Your therapist will continue to be a resource, but you will be in charge of doing your exercises as part of an ongoing home program.