Ankle Instability Specialist

NASA Bone & Joint Specialists

Orthopedic Sports Medicine Surgeons & General Orthopedic Surgeons located in Houston, TX

If you sprain your ankle multiple times, you’re also at risk of developing ankle instability. Left untreated, ankle instability can interfere with your quality of life and increase your risk of immobility. At NASA Bone & Joint Specialists in Houston, Texas, Daniel O’Neill, MD, and Cristin Mathew, DO, lead their expert medical team in regularly diagnosing and treating this painful condition. To request your consultation with the caring, professional team, call the office or click the online booking tool today.

Ankle Instability Q&A

What is ankle instability?

Ankle instability is an orthopedic condition characterized by the outer side of your ankle giving way. Usually, this instability occurs when you’re playing sports or performing other physical activities like walking the dog or climbing a flight of stairs. Ankle instability is particularly common in athletes, but it affects non-athletes as well.

Left unmanaged, ankle instability can interfere with your quality of life and prevent you from participating in activities you enjoy. To prevent the problem from getting worse, make an appointment with the caring team at NASA Bone & Joint Specialists today.

What are the symptoms of ankle instability?

The symptoms of ankle instability vary from person to person and depend on the severity of your condition. However, common telltale signs of ankle instability, include:

  • Repeated giving way of your ankle
  • Chronic ankle pain
  • Chronic ankle swelling
  • Ankle tenderness

When you walk or move around, you might also notice that your ankle feels wobbly or unsupported.

What causes ankle instability?

Ankle instability usually occurs following an ankle sprain. If you don’t give your ankle enough time to heal, the ligaments and connective tissues aren’t able to provide adequate support.

Participating in physical therapy and rehabilitation can significantly lower your risk of ankle instability, but if you sprain your ankle more than once, the ligaments in your ankle stretch and become weak. Over time, this results in greater instability and an increased likelihood of developing other ankle problems.

How do you diagnose ankle instability?

To diagnose ankle instability, your NASA Bone & Joint Specialists provider reviews your medical history, asks you about your symptoms, and performs a physical exam. During your exam, your provider gently feels for areas of tenderness as well as signs of swelling and instability. If these tests don’t provide adequate information, your provider might also order a series of X-rays to get a closer look at the bones and supporting structures in your ankle.

How do you treat ankle instability?

Whenever possible, the team at NASA Bone & Joint Specialists uses conservative methods of care to treat ankle instability. For example, your doctor might recommend physical therapy or bracing to ease swelling and build strength. If these methods of treatment don’t provide adequate relief, surgical intervention may be necessary. During ankle instability surgery, your doctor repairs or reconstructs the damaged ligaments surrounding your ankle.


If chronic ankle pain is interfering with your quality of life, make an appointment with the team at NASA Bone & Joint Specialists, call the office or click the online booking tool today.