10 methods to cure high ankle sprain

high ankle sprain

The ankle joint consists of a complicated hinge with each bone and ligamentous structures that maintains stability. The most common ankle sprain happens when the foot is turned inward, stretches, and tear of the ligaments at the outer part of the ankle complex. Though ankle sprains are not unusual injuries, it’s important to know the difference between a usual ankle sprain and a high ankle sprain. If you have a cracked ankle bone or deltoid internal ligaments of your ankle, then high ankle sprain can happen. But the difference between a typical ankle sprain and high ankle sprain lies within the anatomy of the leg and ankle and the form of harm of the different ligaments. Here in this whole article, we have included the definition of high ankle strain, its causes, and ten best remedy methods that will heal the injury.

What is known as “high ankle sprain”?

High ankle sprains are less common than your traditional lower ankle sprain. The term high ankle refers to an injury that involves the ligaments on the internal of the ankle joint. You will experience a high ankle sprain when damage or tear of the ligaments occurs because of rotating or twisting ankle. Due to this sprain, you can also feel pain in the ligaments or even in the fibula. As the bone and ligaments, both are injured in this sprain, so high ankle sprains are also called a syndesmotic ankle sprain. This type of sprain doesn’t occur as often as a sprain inside the decrease, a part of the ankle.

What happens due to high ankle sprain?

A high ankle sprain is caused due to sudden twisting and tends to occur all through contact or high-effect athletic activities and sports. It mostly occurs in athletes who play with high intensive way. In that case, football, soccer, and basketball player remain at high risk. High ankle sprains can appear while rotating your foot towards the outer facet of your leg. But keep on thing in mind that high ankle or syndesmotic injuries do not heal quickly as usual lower ankle sprains. The main issues relate to a lack of ankle stability in weight-bearing. It causes problems during rotating onwards and inwards. Again, it’s critical to determine the stableness of your excessive ankle injury. With a moon boot or immobilization cast, stable high ankle sprains can be treated conventionally.

Symptoms of a high ankle sprain:

These are as follows-

Pain: A most common sign of an ankle sprain is ache or pain. It can be related to a fracture or bone bruising. The problem can be felt above the ankle and can increase while moving or walking. Again, without a fracture, patients are capable of putting weight but need to endure pain over the junction among the tibia and fibula. In that case, one has to keep patience for some time to reduce ankle pain. You’ll also feel more pain while climbing up or down or doing any activities. The problem over the posterior ankle is also a matter of concern.

Bruising and swelling:

 swelling across the injured ankle is another significant sign of high ankle sprain. Bruising can be treated simply by applying ice or ointment, but any internal displacement of bones can be a significant problem.

The inability of weight lifting: If you’ve experienced a high ankle sprain, you may be unable to put weight. If you try, then you’ll feel pain above your ankle.

Fracture: A high ankle sprain can also cause a fractured fibula. If you’ve fractured one of the bones on your ankle, you won’t be capable of put weight on that foot.

Diagnosis of High Ankle Sprain:

At first, your physiotherapist or doctor will clinically evaluate your ankle tendons’ integrity. If they suspect a high ankle sprain or syndesmosis injury, then a weight-bearing X-ray, CT scan, or MRI have to recommend to confirm the diagnosis. Again, proper advice from a radiologist is also required. The radiologist will check the gap in the inferior tibiofibular joint. This will be shown in the X-ray report. The hole larger than 2mm can be unstable. In that case, surgery is required for stabilization.

Treatment of high ankle sprain:

It is vital to have stability between the tibia and fibula as a tremendous amount of force passes through this region when walks and running. While risky injuries will typically require a surgical operation, stable accidents may be allocated conventionally. High ankle sprains tend to take longer to heal than the familiar strains. The primary high ankle sprain treatment is done by the “RICE” protocol. It includes rest or relaxation, ice, compression, and elevation.

Here are ten methods that you can consider as the healing process. These are as follows-

  1. Rest: You have to take proper rest. You also have to avoid weight lifting. Sometimes, it’s also essential to use crutches or wear a boot. It will assist walking on your foot at the same time will help for proper positioning of the ankle and foot for recovery.
  2. Icing: Icing on your ankle every few hours for about 20 minutes is the primary treatment of high sprain treatment. During the first couple of days after the injury, apply ice for approximately 15 mins after every few hours to lessen irritation and swelling.
  3. Compression: Wrapping your leg with a soft compression elastic bandage and elevating it with ice will provide the firmness of the ankle. It will help to reduce ache and swelling. But don’t make it tight enough.
  4. Elevation: Sit or lie down with your foot that will increase the function above the level of your heart to lessen swelling and ache.

  5. Physical therapy: Physical therapy makes your tendons stronger and prevents further harm. It’s not required for all types of sprain. For some critical issues, physical therapy is needed.
  6. Medicines: Taking of Anti-inflammatory and ache over-the-counter remedy medicines like naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil) assist in reducing infection and aching.
  7. Surgery: For severe excessive ankle sprains or if a ligament is torn completely then you have to go under a surgical treatment. It includes inserting a screw among the tibia and fibula to preserve the two bones together. It relieves stress on the ligaments and permits them to remain stable.
  8. Ankle exercise and stretches:Your doctor or physical therapist will recommend a series of movements to restore strength to the infected area. Some exercise includes- walking with or without crutches, tracking the alphabet with toe, standing on one leg for 25 sec to 1 min to improve movement, sitting on a chair with the foot of the affected leg flat on the flat, Stretch your calf by placing your hand flat in a wall and positioning the injured leg behind you. You can find many videos on YouTube regarding this matter.
  9. Heat:Heat increases blood circulation to any injury that speed healing. It also helps to relax tight muscles, easing pain and tension. But, if the ankle is swollen then don’t use heat. It will increase inflammation and slow healing.
  10. Proper care:It includes avoiding footwear, stretching before and after exercising, and maintaining the regularity of medicine and exercise. Crutches or a strolling boot is also required during this phase.

Recovery time after a high ankle sprain:  

High ankle sprains are more excessive than the common ankle sprain. It will commonly take a longer time to heal. High ankle sprains should be diagnosed early and appropriate remedy has to initiate as it’s different from a lower ankle sprain. Syndesmotic accidents heal slower than the usual low ankle sprain. So, the healing time depends on the condition of your injury.

Athletes can go back to their sports between six weeks, but if the gentle tissue and any bone harm occur then it will take a lot of time. Healing from a high ankle sprain can take six weeks to a few months. To determine the recovery circumstance of your ankle, you have to consult with a physical therapist or doctor. With the right evaluation of your strolling and weight-bearing ability, your recovery condition might be determined.

Grade 1 – Mild

In slight cases, you may count on full ligament healing at about 6 weeks, but it could take a long time to prepare you for functional sport. Most humans think it’ll be fine simply by taking proper rest. But it has been discovered that these mild sprains frequently result in ligament laxity, muscle weakness, joint stiffness, or tightness.

If no longer adequately treatment is done then it can cause harm to your ankle and foot joints. It can also result in other accidents due to that you may go through months or years.

Grade 2 – Moderate

Grade 2 injuries occur when you have a major ligament injury. It lets in the ligament to excessively stretch. In maximum cases, these accidents take 6 to 12 weeks for proper recovery. With increasing injury severity, the rehabilitation process becomes more complicated and extensive. Grade 2 injuries may be stable or unstable. If it’s unstable, then surgery is essential. All Grade 2 accidents recovery includes the following ability- Full range of motion, complete strength, full proprioception, complete agility, and complete go back to recreation-particular drills.

Grade 3 – Severe

When the ligament is completely ruptured then it’s considered as Grade 3 ligament injuries.

This is more intense excessive ankle sprain injuries that can also include the fractures of the bones or high ankle sprains. It will require additional rehabilitation time than a simple ankle sprain. If the injury is unstable, then a “syndesmotic screw” or a “tightrope” is positioned between the tibia and fibula.

It will keep the bones in the proper position at the same time the syndesmotic ligament will heal. For healing the syndesmotic ligament a screw has to place for about 3 months. In this situation, if they walk, the syndesmotic screw can break. So in this phage patients need to take proper rest. The rehabilitation of a Grade three ankle sprain commonly takes three to six months but is quite variable depending on the type of damage. Your physiotherapist or health care provider will offer more specific guidelines and advice for your proper recovery.

When athletes can go back to sports after a high ankle sprain?

A high ankle sprain is more complex than normal ankle sprains as it occurs lower and on the outside of the ankle. It takes longer to heal and from time to time for more than three months. With the right remedy, a high ankle sprain can heal completely. But if you’re an athlete or not then you have to use a brace or tape your ankle to avoid recurrence of the injury. Most athletes experience a low ankle sprain. In that case, they can return to sports activities inside one to three weeks.

But the gamers who maintain a high ankle sprain have to keep themselves away from

sports activities for 4 to six weeks depending upon the injury severity. Sports involving carving and turning along with football, are especially tough to play with a high ankle sprain. For the athletes who go underneath a surgery, they should resume sports hobby for approximately 4 months. Once an athlete sustains an ankle sprain, unfortunately, they’re extra susceptible to future injuries. For this reason, most NFL teams provide their gamers to use ankles taped or braced during the competition to lessen the threat of injury.


  1. What is the best remedy to heal a high ankle sprain?

It includes four steps. Rest, Icing, compression, and elevation.

  1. Is surgery essential for high ankle surgery?

It depends on the type of injury. If it’s severe, then you have to must go under surgery.

  1. How long it takes to recover from a high ankle sprain?

Healing time depends on the type of injury that implies the injury of soft tissues and bone damage. Mainly it can take six weeks to three months. Sometimes it can also be longer.

  1. How to tape or brace a high ankle break?

It has to do several inches above the injured ankle. At first wrap on the inside of the leg and make two wraps around the ankle for stability. After that wrap around the foot and ankle in a figure-eight pattern. You can use a fastener at the end to stabilize your wrap.


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