A high ankle sprain is a type of ankle injury that can be particularly severe and painful. Because of this, it's important to be as knowledgeable as possible about this injury. This way, you'll be able to handle it properly in case you ever experience a high ankle sprain. If you want to learn more about this injury, read on as we break down everything you need to know about high ankle sprains.
What Is a High Ankle Sprain?
High ankle sprains, also known as syndesmotic sprains, are one of the most serious and painful types of ankle injuries. They occur when the ligaments that connect the two bones of the lower leg, the tibia and fibula, are torn or stretched beyond their normal range of motion. Since the ankle joint is so complex and the ligaments involved are so important to the stability of the joint, high ankle sprains can be extremely painful and can take a long time to heal.
Symptoms of high ankle sprains include pain and swelling in the ankle, difficulty walking and standing, and instability in the ankle joint. If the pain is severe, it may be difficult to put weight on the affected ankle. There may also be a popping sound or feeling when the ankle is twisted or turned.
Diagnosis of high ankle sprains typically involves a physical examination, X-rays, and an MRI. X-rays can help the doctor identify any fractures or other issues that may be causing the pain. An MRI can show the degree of ligament damage and the extent of any swelling or inflammation.
How Do High Ankle Sprains Differ from Regular Sprains?
The primary difference between a regular sprain and a high ankle sprain is the location. Regular sprains occur when the ligaments in the ankle joint are overstretched or torn. High ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that connect the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) are overstretched or torn. This is known as the syndesmosis joint.
Another difference between regular and high ankle sprains is the severity. High ankle sprains are typically more severe than regular sprains. This is due to the fact that the ligaments that are injured in a high ankle sprain are much larger and stronger than those in a regular sprain. As such, a high ankle sprain can result in a greater degree of instability in the ankle joint.
How Do You Treat High Ankle Sprains?
Treatment for high ankle sprains typically involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Immobilization may also be necessary to ensure the ankle ligaments have time to heal properly. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery may be required. Surgery involves repairing the torn ligaments and possibly reattaching them to the bones.
Recovery time for high ankle sprains can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the treatment plan. In general, it takes around 6-12 weeks for the ankle to heal completely. During this time, physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises may be recommended to help strengthen the ankle and restore range of motion.
High ankle sprains are serious injuries, and it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you think you may have one. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most people can make a full recovery.
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