The Treatment and Prevention of High Ankle Sprains

Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses treatment and prevention of high ankle sprains.

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Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses treatment and prevention of high ankle sprains.
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Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses ankle sprains, diagnosis and common treatment options.

One variant of the typical ankle sprain, which is more serious, is the high ankle sprain.

So this involves a sprain of different ligaments. These are the ligaments that attach these two bones together, so the tibia and the fibula, and also the ligament that wraps around the front of the ankle and holds the tendons in place.

When those ligaments are sprained, it can make the entire ankle complex unstable causing these bones to spread apart from one another. So in a third degree or complete tear of those ligaments, a screw needs to be placed across these bones in order to hold them back together.

Most high ankle sprains that are less severe will require a few weeks of not bearing weight on the foot. So typically people will have to use crutches. Once you’re allowed to bear weight, then it takes somewhere between four and six weeks to be able to go back to do most of your normal activities.

With more serious injuries that requires surgery, you may not be weight-bearing for up to six weeks and then another six to 12 weeks after that before you can resume activity. The typical treatment for lesser sprains would include ice, anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy, and of course in terms of diagnosing these injuries, sometimes you will need an x-ray.

There are times where these kinds of injuries are hard to pick up even on an x-ray, and we may need to do an MRI, for example. The best way to prevent these kinds of injuries typically would be to make you’re doing a good ankle strengthening and balance program in advance of starting your season.

If you think you have a high ankle sprain or have more questions, you could consult a sports medicine physician or a physiotherapist.

Presenter: Dr. Grant Lum, Sports Medicine Physician, Toronto, ON

Local Practitioners: Sports Medicine Physician

Ankle Injury Video Quiz ( 9 participated.)

High Ankle Sprains

Questions
True
False
0

A high ankle sprain is a variation of an ankle sprain that can tend to be a more serious injury.

1

High ankle sprains have a faster recover time than a normal ankle sprain.

2

Sometimes an MRI is needed to properly diagnose a high ankle sprain.

3

Due to the nature of a high ankle sprain it can sometimes leave the ankle joint unstable.

4

If the sprain in severe enough it may require surgery to insert a pin in order to help stablalize the ankle joint.

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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