Foot & Ankle Specialty

Foot and Ankle Instability

Foot and Ankle Instability Specialist in Columbia, SC

Foot and Ankle Instability


Foot and ankle instability is a common orthopedic condition that can impact a person’s mobility and quality of life. Whether caused by traumatic injury, age, repetitive use injury, or genetics, foot and ankle instability occurs when there’s damage to the tendons and muscles that provide structural and functional weight-bearing support to the feet and ankles.

Foot and Ankle Instability

Foot and Ankle Instability Symptoms


  • Pain, especially after prolonged activity or standing
  • Weakness of the foot or ankle that impacts your gait and balance
  • Recurring sprains or the ankle “giving way.”
  • Swelling in the foot and ankle
  • Limited range of motion in the ankle joint
  • Impacted daily routine

What Causes Foot and Ankle Instability?

  • Repetitive stress: Activities that put repetitive stress on the foot and ankle can cause micro-injuries over time, weakening the ligaments and tendons and causing instability. Repetitive stress injuries are common with activities like running and dancing. 
  • Aging: As we age, we succumb to natural wear and tear on our joints, ligaments, and tendons, leading to decreased stability and strength in the ankle and foot joints. 
  • Trauma: Injuries such as ankle strains, sprains, and fractures can damage ligaments, leading to chronic instability. Trauma and injury commonly cause foot and ankle instability, especially among active patients.
  • Genetics: Patients born with structural abnormalities in their feet or ankles can be prone to joint instability.


Foot and Ankle Instability Treatment

The treatment choice for foot and ankle instability depends on the severity and underlying causes. Standard treatment options include but aren’t limited to:


  • Non-Invasive Symptom Management: Your provider may recommend rest, elevation, braces, or orthotics to stabilize the joint and minimize re-injury. 
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is often prescribed to aid in recovering foot and ankle stability, especially if there are underlying sprains or untreated injuries.
  • Surgery: When conservative treatments fail, ligament reconstruction or other joint stabilizing surgery may be effective.

Foot and Ankle Instability Diagnosis:

Foot and ankle instability diagnosis includes talking to your health provider so they get a detailed understanding of your history. Be sure to include any previous ankle or foot injuries such as fractures, sprains, strains, or any other condition that could be contributing to the instability. From there, your provider will examine the affected foot and ankle, testing your range of motion, stability, and strength, and assess your gait (walk). Your provider will also order imaging to evaluate the extent of any damage, including X-rays, MRI, or CT scans to look for ligament tears or joint abnormalities.

Foot and Ankle Instability Doctor in South Carolina

Midlands Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery can help you find a solution to your foot and ankle instability issues. If you have been experiencing the above symptoms, see one of our expert physicians to help you get back on your feet and living life. Call us at (803)256-4107 to set up an appointment, or click below and schedule your appointment online.

    At Midlands Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery, our goal is simple. We want to help you get back to your best shape in the safest and quickest way possible, so you can enjoy the activities you love most.