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All About High Ankle Sprains

On This Page 1) A Quick Introduction to Sprains 2) The Difference Between Ankle Sprains and High Ankle Sprains 3) Different Grades of Sprains Grade 1 Sprain Grade 2 Sprain Grade 3 Sprain 4) High Ankle Sprain Symptoms 5) First Aid for High Ankle Sprains Control Swelling Managing the Pain and Inflammation See a Health Care Provider 6) Long-Term Treatment of High Ankle Sprains

1) A Quick Introduction to Sprains A sprain refers to wrenching or twisting the ligament of the wrist, ankle or any other joint violently, causing swelling but not dislocation. The resulting stress to the ligaments – connective tissue holding the joints together – is the source of discomfort depending on the degree of damage. A high ankle sprain is a common injury among athletes, and it is an exceptionally painful injury. This ankle sprain can also be experienced by individuals who frequently do strenuous exercises.


High ankle sprain – also referred to as the syndesmotic ankle sprain – results when the ligaments ankle happens to stretch beyond its capacity to stretch thus gets torn. This can ultimately result in an unbearable ankle pain.

2) The Difference Between Ankle Sprains and High Ankle Sprains The fundamental difference between a high ankle sprain and a “low” ankle sprain is the different location. In a typical sprained ankle, it’s damage to the ligaments attaching the lower leg to the foot – the ankle. A high ankle sprain is damage to the ligaments binding together the bones of the lower leg – the tibia and fibula. High ankle sprains also tend to be more serious than more common ankle sprains, the ligaments often being torn or ruptured. The main cause of sprain in the ankle is due to the outward twisting of the foot and the ankle.

3) Different Grades of Sprains Sprains are usually divided into three grades to describe the severity of the damage to the ligament that is involved. Grade 1 Sprain

A Grade 1 sprain – also referred to as first degree sprain – is the most common, and it usually requires the least treatment for recovery. The ligaments which connect the ankle bones often are overstretched which may result in them being damaged microscopically and not actually torn. This ligament damage will occur without any of the significant instability associated with more severe sprains. Grade 2 Sprain

A Grade 2 sprain (or second degree sprain) is more severe and indicates that the ligament has been severely damaged. There will be some instability to the joint. The ligaments are usually partially torn. Grade 3 Sprain

A Grade 3 sprain, or a third degree sprain, is the most severe. This is an injury where the ligament has been significantly damaged thus will result in instability. The third degree injury means that the ligament is torn completely. Surgery is often required to fully repair a grade 3 sprain.

4) High Ankle Sprain Symptoms


The syndesmotic ligaments play an essential role in maintaining proper positioning of ankle joints. As compared to a normal ankle sprain and strain, high ankle sprain is less common in occurrence. The symptoms that are exhibited by both medical conditions usually are more or less the same, however. An accurate diagnosis should be left to a health care professional. The following are some of the symptoms of ankle sprain, which can be very uncomfortable. *Pain is usually the primary symptom. An individual may suffer from the generalized pain of their ankle. Usually, this pain may worsen if there happens to be increased pressure in the foot that is affected. The pain sometimes can be so extreme to the extent that it can radiate to the knee. *Bruising, which may be as a result of rupturing of the small blood vessels, may also be seen. Usually, the bruises will appear bluish black in color due to the clotting of the blood at the site where the injury is. It is not uncommon for the blood clots to appear in another place apart from where the injury is, since it is possible for them to flow into other areas of the of the feet. *Another common indication of the ankle sprain is swelling. Due to the tearing and bleeding within the ligaments, most of the site affected may begin to swell. Usually, the intensity of this swelling varies according to the severity of the injury. The swollen ankle may also result in pain and reduced mobility. *Instability may be experienced by the affected ankle. This is because the normal foot structure is disrupted thus the foot remains without any supporting mechanism. This may result in difficulty when moving about and thus cause pain.

5) First Aid for High Ankle Sprains If the pain, swelling or bruising is severe or if the ankle looks as if it has been deformed or it seems dislocated, the following are some of the first aid precautions that should be undertaken. Please note, however, it’s always best to allow experienced medical personnel treat an injury. Control Swelling

The following steps are helpful in minimizing swelling. Much of the long-term discomfort results from the initial swelling, so taking some preventative measures is a good idea. Remember the acronym RICE, standing for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. * First of all, remove anything worn on the feet, including shoes, socks, anklets, and toe rings. * Rest the ankle. You can use a cane, clutches, or even a wheelchair if necessary. * Ice the affected ankle for approximately 15 to 20 minutes several times for the first two days.


* Compress by wrapping the ankle tightly (but not cutting off circulation) with an elastic ankle brace or bandage. * Elevate the injured ankle above the level of the heart to prevent fluid build-up. Managing the Pain and Inflammation

* Take ibuprofen, acetaminophen or an aspirin for pain. Though these are common over-the-counter pain medications, it is still a good idea to ask a doctor before medicating your sprain. See a Health Care Provider

*Make an appointment with a health care provider as soon as possible for any of the ankle sprain regardless of whether it is mild or severe.

6) Long-Term Treatment of High Ankle Sprains Before administering ay treatment kind, a doctor is required to perform some tests such as foot X-ray so as to rule out any of the chances of a fracture. In severe circumstances, an MRI scan is also done so as to be able to confirm the foot’s exact condition. Once the doctor has done the diagnosis, he may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers so as to relieve the inflammation and the pain. The PRICE (Protection, Rest, Ice, and Compression and Elevation) technique is usually considered as the best technique of ankle treatment. As you may notice, it’s a variation on the RICE method mentioned above, which is also a useful technique for speeding sprain recovery times. Application of warm and cold compresses to the area that is injured will help in reducing the swelling. In case of a third degree injury, the individual may be recommended to surgery, whereby the doctor fixes the tibia and fibula bones back to their normal positions. After this surgery, bed rest is essential until your foot heals completely. As a general rule, it is usually advised that you allow your injured foot to rest and recover. For effective management of the pain and further rehabilitation, the doctor may refer you to a physiotherapist so as to relieve this pain and also the discomfort that may result due to the sprained ankle. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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All About High Ankle Sprains  

Managing the Pain and Inflammation 1) A Quick Introduction to Sprains 6) Long-Term Treatment of High Ankle Sprains 2) The Difference Between...

All About High Ankle Sprains  

Managing the Pain and Inflammation 1) A Quick Introduction to Sprains 6) Long-Term Treatment of High Ankle Sprains 2) The Difference Between...