A high ankle sprain is an injury above the ankle joint which causes damage to the syndesmotic ligaments that attaches the 2 leg bones together that form the top of the ankle joint.
Symptoms of a high ankle sprain
- Pain when pressing the tibiofibular ligament which connects the tibia and fibula at the bottom of the leg and top of the ankle
- Bruising and swelling at the front and outside area of the ankle
- Difficulty walking and when the ankle is rotated and dorsiflexed with the foot and toes pushed upwards.
- Twisting of the foot in an outward direction and the lower leg is twisted inward which causes torqueing of the tibia and fibula bones and places plenty of stress on the syndesmodic ligament and becomes damaged or torn.
- Falling with the foot on the ground and the impact is like hitting the area with a football or soccer which results to severe twisting movement. It will cause pain, swelling and ecchymosis at the outside of the ankle and front ankle above the foot.
- Take plenty of rest. Avoid performing activities that cause pain in the affected area for fast healing of the condition.
- Apply an ice pack on the area for at least 10 minutes every hour at 2-3 times every day. Avoid applying directly on the skin to prevent further damage and worsen the condition.
- Avoid walking excessively if it causes pain. Use a plaster cast to prevent placing excessive weight on the injured ankle
- Elevate the area above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling and prevent fluid build up in the affected area. Use a couple of pillows or cushions to raise the legs as much as possible during the day and when sleeping at night.
- Take the prescribed anti-inflammatory pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen to lessen the pain and inflammation.
- Massage the area after 72 hours to lessen the swelling, loosen tight muscles and prevent build-up of scar tissue.
- Use electrotherapy such as ultrasound to lessen the pain, swelling and for fast healing of the condition.
- Seek the help of the physical therapist for some rehabilitation exercises for mobility, strengthening and restore the normal functioning of the ankle.
- Perform proper warm up before any physical activities.
- Wear proper athletic shoes that fit well and provide adequate lateral support.
- Tape the ankle and wear a brace for a previous ankle injury.
The details posted on this page on high ankle sprain is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage sprains, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.