An ankle sprain is a common injury, but there are many different ways to injure your ankle.
One type of sprain is called a “high ankle sprain.” This injury, less common than a traditional ankle sprain, is so named because the damaged area is above the ankle joint.
Ankle sprains involve damage and tearing to the ligaments that connect the ankle joint or other bones. When a high ankle sprain is diagnosed, this means that the specific ligaments that are injured are those that connect the tibia to the fibula and are above the ankle joint. Normal activities like running and walking can put a lot of pressure on this area.
What Causes a High Ankle Sprain?
High ankle sprains are typically caused by excessive twisting or rotating movements. As an example, you may suffer a high ankle sprain when one foot is planted firmly on the ground, and then forced outwards as you twist.
Athletes playing sports that require quick changes of direction such as soccer and handball can experience high ankle sprains. Other sports include basketball and volleyball, which involve a lot of high impact jumping, as well as skiing, which can lead to accidents where bindings don’t release during a fall.
Diagnosing and Treating a High Ankle Sprain
A high ankle sprain usually causes pain just above the ankle, along with bruising and swelling on the outside and front of the ankle.
If you have serious and persistent ankle pain, please come in to see us at Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle. We’ll examine your foot and perform several tests to check the degree of pain in the ankle.
To verify our diagnosis, we’ll take x-rays in the office to look for broken bones.
In treating a high ankle sprain, we’ll first use the R.I.C.E. method to reduce pain and inflammation: Rest, apply Ice several times a day, apply Compression with an ACE wrap and Elevate the leg.
Using a walking boot to take pressure off can help during the healing process. Based on the x-rays and if a bone is broken, we may discuss surgery if necessary.
High ankle sprains usually take much longer to heal than more traditional sprains. You might not be able to return to your normal activities, including sports and exercise, for 6-7 weeks. During that period, physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles and ligaments and ease the stiffness.
Don’t Suffer with a High Ankle Sprain – We Can help!
Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, board certified podiatrist has the right experience to diagnose and treat high ankle sprains and all types of foot and ankle injuries and sports injuries. Please come in to Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle for an examination – you can request an appointment via the website or call us at either of our nature coast locations: Hudson office at (727) 868-2128 or our Spring Hill office at (352) 683-5799.