High Ankle Sprains

As soon as a high-profile player suffers an injury, suddenly, everyone wants to understand it.  A high ankle sprain is the current injury of interest. High ankle sprains are different than the more common low ankle sprains. In addition to the location being higher on the ankle, high ankle sprains involve the ankle turning inward or outward while the foot is flexed up.

What is a High Ankle Sprain?

A high ankle sprain is when you tear or damage the high ankle ligaments that connect the tibia to the fibula. This injury is also called a syndesmotic injury, referring to the high ankle ligaments. This injury occurs more commonly in certain sports, such as football, soccer, wrestling, and hockey.

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High Ankle Sprain Symptoms

Swelling, inability to bear weight, bruising, pain, and tenderness are common symptoms of a high ankle sprain.

Diagnosing a High Ankle Sprain 

Diagnosing a high ankle sprain can be done clinically. If dorsiflexing the foot and adding rotation causes pain in foot, this could indicate a sprain. Physicians can also perform a “squeeze test” on the patient: squeezing the tibia and fibula together, putting pressure on the interosseous membrane separates the two bones. The patient probably has a high ankle sprain if you feel pain higher up on the leg.

Watch a Video to Learn More about High Ankle Sprains

Dr. Michael Dempewolf is a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon at Sano Orthopedics. He specializes in treating competitive athletes. He provides a clinical explanation of high ankle sprains: anatomy, injuries, diagnosis and treatments. 

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