Treatment Options for Athlete's Damaged Ankle

I sprained my right ankle at least a dozen times during high school and college sports. Now I can hardly walk without it giving way. Is there anything that can be done about this?


There are several treatment options depending on the condition of the ankle joint and soft tissues around the joint. First a program of specific ankle exercises may help. The goal is to increase joint stability through increased muscle strength.

Second a treatment called prolotherapy may work for you. Sometimes this is called
sclerotherapy or reconstructive therapy. A doctor with special training injects an agent into the ankle. Scar tissue forms around the soft tissues to help form
stronger bonds where the torn ligaments normally hold the ankle stable.

Finally if these methods fail, surgery may be needed. In the past, ankle fusion was the only operation possible. Now the joint can actually be replaced. Total ankle replacement (TAR) can be used in the case of ankle instability. A severe ankle sprain or repeated injury such as you described can cause such problems. Ask your doctor which treatment would be best for you.

J. Chris Coetzee, MD, FRCSC, and Michael D. Castro, DO. Accurate Measurement of Ankle Range of Motion after Total Ankle Arthroplasty. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. July 2004. No. 424. Pp. 27-31.