A high ankle sprain develops if there is tearing and damage to the high ankle ligaments. It is important to note that these injuries are uncommon than the traditional ankle sprain.
The high ankle ligaments are positioned above the ankle. These ligaments link the tibia to the fibula. Stability should be maintained amidst the fibula and tibia at this point since walking and running significantly strains on this junction.
A high ankle sprain occurs from rotational or twisting injury. This type of sprain can also occur in the setting of an ankle fracture where the ankle bones are damaged. In some instances, the ligament on the interior of the ankle is torn.
During this event, the force of the injury travels from the deltoid via the high ankle ligaments and towards the leg via the fibula. This leads to damage to the fibula at a high level which is called as Maisonneuve fracture.
An individual with a high ankle sprain without a fracture can bear weight but there is pain over the junction amidst the fibula and tibia right above the level of the ankle.
Management of a high ankle sprain
The objective of treatment for a high ankle sprain is to ensure that the fibula and tibia are in the right position and heal correctly. Remember that these injuries might take a longer time to heal.
If an individual has a sprain without a fracture, the treatment involves allowing the leg to rest along with the application of ice for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours, gentle compression using an ACE wrap and elevating with the toes higher than the level of the nose.
In some cases, there is evident tenderness where a removable walking boot might be required. Take note that aggressive therapy once weight bearing is possible is important which includes strengthening of the tendons on the exterior of the ankle. Generally, it takes 6 weeks or longer to resume sports.
Length of recovery
The recovery for a high ankle sprain is longer than a usual sprain. In most cases, it might take 6-7 weeks before one can return to play.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on a high ankle sprain is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to care for sprains, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.