Most ankle injuries get better with rest, ice packs, painkillers and physiotherapy with no long-term problems. However, in about 5-10% the pain and instability may continue beyond the usual healing time of 6 to 12 weeks. The ligaments may fail to heal properly and become weak, or there may be damage to the joint itself or some other structure nearby.
It is important to be examined by an orthopaedic / Sports specialist to look for any signs that you have some other problem around your ankle, such as damage to the joint surface. Ankle examination will reveal if the ligaments are lax. Investigations may be required like special stress X-ray views, MRI scans to look for ligament damage and other causes of pain.
The first treatment is a physiotherapy programme to re-train the proprioceptive nerves which are not working properly, by doing various exercises and activities. Exercises are also shown to stretching and strengthening of the muscles around the ankle. A moulded insole may be advised for your shoe to reduce extra stress on the ankle ligaments. An ankle brace may help to tighten up or replace the ligaments. Many people will find their ankle much more stable and comfortable with physiotherapy. If problems continue like pain and instability despite other measures an operation might be required.