The vast majority of athletic injuries involve the lateral ligaments and resolve relatively quickly. Injuries to the deltoid ligament and syndesmosis, while also common, are more significant because they usually take longer to recover from.
Patients may also present with recurring ankle instability following a ligament injury. Mechanical instability can also occur after complete ligament tears if the scar tissue is lengthened and provides inadequate mechanical support. Functional instability results from inadequate sensorimotor control of the ankle joint. Some players can suffer from both mechanical and functional instability.