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High ankle sprain (syndesmosis injury)

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What is a high ankle sprain?

A high ankle sprain is a sprain in the ligaments that attach the fibula to the tibia (just above the ankle). They stabilize the lower leg for activities like running and walking.

A sprain here is often caused by a sudden outward twisting (external rotation) of the leg (usually when it is planted with studded boots). An accident while downhill skiing is also often responsible.

How can I help myself?

If you have had a traumatic sprain of the ankle you should seek medical care at A+E as imaging is the best way to rule out fracture if a high ankle sprain is suspected.

POLICE and pain medication or anti inflammatory medication (see important safety information) may be useful in the short term.

When to see a Podiatrist?

Often a high ankle sprain is diagnosed in A+E or by a physio before podiatrists will see these patients. However, chronic pain or issues at the ankle joint due to altered foot mechanics from the initial injury are something we are well trained to deal with.

Your podiatrist will assess your gait and foot mechanics and may offer orthoses, exercise and taping if appropriate to help you to regain function and get you back to sport.

High ankle sprain
High ankle sprain