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High Ankle Sprains

What is a high ankle sprain?

A high ankle sprain feels a lot higher than a normal ankle sprain. This is when injury occurs to the structures holding the two leg bones together near the ankle (tibia and fibula).

It usually occurs from twisting the leg on a firmly planted foot; however it can happen in conjunction with a normal ankle sprain.

High Ankle Sprain
High Ankle Sprains

Why are these more problematic than regular ankle sprains?

The talus bone which sits between the tibia and fibula is wedge shaped and creates a stable closed packed joint when your ankle bends up. If the stabilising structures are injured, then every step can cause ongoing aggravation and further separation.

Due to this it can have long term implications if undiagnosed or not managed well as increased laxity will cause abnormal forces to be applied to the joint surface and may result in more pain and disability.

How long will it take to get better?

Recovery is often longer than normal ankle sprains and may require a period of non-weight bearing, immobilisations or even surgery depending on the severity.
Assessment by one of the Podiatrists or Physiotherapists is vital to assess the grade of the injury and whether further investigations, or surgical referral is required.

What should I do after injuring myself?

The first 2 days are important for a speedy recovery. For any soft tissue injuries follow RICER for 48-72 hours and avoid HARM.

For 48 hours
20mins on / 20mins off for 2 hrs; then 20mins every 4 hours
Use a bandage – ensure you do not wear it overnight
Use pillows to help elevate the area
See a Physio ASAP for appropriate treatment and rehab
Causes increased swelling
Increases swelling and bleeding
Increased blood flow and swelling, may damage tissue further
May cause further damage

Get an assessment with one of our Podiatrists or Physiotherapists! Early assessment is important as mild injuries may be managed conservatively whilst more serious one may require surgery.

Every high ankle sprain is different and your treatment will be individualised to suite your condition, needs and goals.

Want specific advice for your individual situation? Make an appointment today on (07) 3846 4800.

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