Ankle sprains are extremely common and generally occur when someone ‘rolls’ on their ankle damaging ligaments of the region and range in severity from simple strain to complete tear of the ligament. The majority of ankle sprains resolve quickly however in some cases pain and disability can persist even for a number of months. There are a number of causes of this ‘difficult ankle’ syndrome including synovitis (joint inflammation) which can develop if return to full weight-bearing after a sprain is too early or has been forced.
Functional instability of the ankle can occur with repeated ankle sprain or if the ankle doesn’t heal adequately after a bad sprain. This can be due to a combination of the ligaments being lax (‘stretched out’) and muscles around the joint failing to support the joint.
Other common ankle injuries include bony and soft tissue impingement syndromes, fractures of the tibia / fibula, and tendon problems such as tibialis posterior tendinosis.