What is ankle instability?

The bones in a joint are held together by strong soft tissues called ligaments. Ligaments control how much the joint can move and help keep the bones in the right position.

Ankle instability happens when the ligaments become too stretched or torn. It can make your ankle feel unstable or like it moves too much. Ankle instability can put you at risk of spraining your ankle in the future.

What causes ankle instability?

  • spraining your ankle badly in the past, or spraining it repeatedly
  • the way your foot and ankle joints line up
  • being born with naturally loose ligaments

What can I do about my ankle instability?

  • work with a physiotherapist to strengthen the muscles in your ankle and leg
  • avoid high risk activities that might cause you to twist or roll over on your ankle
  • wear a brace or shoes that support your ankle

Can surgery help my ankle instability?

If the options listed above do not help, surgery might be needed to tighten and repair the ligaments.