Foot and ankle problems usually fall into the following categories:
- Acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot.
- Arthritic foot problems, which typically involve one or more joint.
- Congenital foot problems, which occur at birth, are generally inherited.
- Infectious foot problems, which are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal disorders.
- Neoplastic disorders, usually called tumors, which are the result of abnormal growth of tissue and may be benign or malignant.
- Traumatic foot problems, which are associated with foot and ankle injuries.
Weak ankles may be a result of previous ankle injuries, but in some cases they are a congenital (at birth) condition. The ankles are sore, and “give way” easily while standing, walking, or doing other activities.
When an ankle is injured, it may take a few weeks to many months to fully heal. Often, the injured ankle remains weaker and less stable than the uninjured one. A foot and ankle surgeon can assess ankle stability and may obtain medical imaging studies to evaluate the ankle for further damage.
Treatment for weak ankles usually includes physical therapy and bracing. Surgery may be recommended depending on the degree of instability and the response to non-surgical approaches.
See also Chronic Ankle Instability and PTTD.