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If you have ever injured your ankle, you know how debilitating it can be. Ankles are crucial for walking and balance, so when they are injured it can be difficult to do even the simplest tasks. There are many types of ankle injuries, but one of the most serious is a high ankle sprain (also called a syndesmotic injury). In this blog post, we will discuss what high ankle sprains are, how they occur, and the treatment options available.

high ankle sprain

What is a High Ankle Sprain (Syndesmotic Injury)?

A high ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments that connect the tibia (shinbone) and fibula (smaller bone in the lower leg). These ligaments, known as syndesmosis, stabilize the bones and allow for normal movement. A high ankle sprain occurs when these ligaments are torn or stretched beyond their normal range of motion. This type of injury is often caused by a fall or twisting motion that puts stress on the ankle.

High ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that connect the bones of the lower leg are torn. When they are injured, it can cause severe pain and swelling. High ankle sprains usually happen when the foot is turned inward (inversion), which puts stress on the ligaments. This can happen when you trip and fall, or when you land awkwardly after a jump.

Symptoms of a High Ankle Sprain (Syndesmotic Injury)

The most common symptom of a high ankle sprain is pain along the outside of the ankle. This pain is usually worse with activity and may make it difficult to walk or put weight on the affected ankle. Other symptoms may include:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a foot doctor for an evaluation. High ankle sprains can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to other ankle injuries, such as a regular ankle sprain. An experienced podiatrist will likely order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for a High Ankle Sprain (Syndesmotic Injury)

The treatment for a high ankle sprain will depend on the severity of the injury. For milder injuries, rest, ice, and elevation may be enough to reduce swelling and pain. More severe injuries may require physical therapy or surgery.

High ankle sprains can be very painful and difficult to walk on. The good news is that they usually heal with time and rest. However, in some cases, surgery may be needed.

Is there any home treatment for High Ankle Sprain?

If you have a high ankle sprain, the following home treatments may help:

Rest: Avoid activities that increase your pain or swelling. This may mean using crutches to stay off your foot for a few days.

Ice: Apply ice to your ankle for 20 minutes at a time several times a day.

Compression: Use an Ace wrap or compression sock to help reduce swelling.

Elevation: Keep your foot elevated above heart level as much as possible to reduce swelling.

If home treatment does not relieve your pain or if your ankle is still swollen after a few days, you should see a foot doctor. You may need surgery. A high ankle sprain is a serious injury, and it is important to get treatment as soon as possible.

Surgery is usually only required for high ankle sprains that do not heal with time and rest. The surgery involves repairing the ligaments that are torn. This can be done with screws or a metal plate. After surgery, you will need to wear a boot or cast for several weeks to allow your ankle to heal properly.

Your Total Foot Care Specialist can help you with your High Ankle Sprain problem!

We are experts in diagnosing and treating high ankle sprains. We will create a customized treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery as soon as possible!

Your Total Foot Care Specialist is a podiatry and foot care center specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of various foot pain conditions. Our podiatrists have over 30 years of combined experience with some of the most advanced technology available. We pride ourselves on our patient-centered approach, where we focus on your individual needs to provide you with customized solutions for your specific condition. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at katyfootcare.com or visit one of our many convenient office locations in Katy, Memorial, Galleria, West Houston,  Cypress, or Copperfield. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please call us today to schedule an appointment. We are always happy to help!