High Ankle Sprain Recovery Time
High Ankle Sprain Recovery Time: Learn how long it takes to come back from a high ankle sprain. Then make it much faster!
What Is A High Ankle Sprain:
This is also known as a syndesmotic ankle sprain.
- The syndesmotic ligament holds the tibia & fibula together in the lower leg.
- The ligaments are just above the ankle joint.
- So it is not really the ankle being sprained, but the lower leg.
- If this ligament ruptures, the ankle mortise widens & the foot can literally come loose!
How Does It Differ From Normal Ankle Sprain:
1)Normal Ankle Sprain Causes:
- A normal ankle sprain is the turning inward of the foot.
- This damages the lateral ankle ligaments.
- This does not cause stress between the tibia & fibula.
- There is no damage to the ligaments holding the tibia & fibula together.
2) High Ankle Sprain Causes:
- This occurs as the ankle is at 90 degrees to the leg.
- The foot is planted on the ground and turns out.
- This causes stretching of the ligaments between the fibula & tibia.
- If strong enough the ankle can fracture & the ligaments can rupture.
What Causes A High Ankle Sprain?
A high ankle sprain occurs when your foot turns out while still planted firmly on the ground at 90 degrees.
- This is damage of the ligaments within your leg, rather than on the outside of your ankle.
- These occur between the tibia and the fibula of your lower leg.
- The ligaments of your syndesmosis are damaged.
High Ankle Sprain Tendons & Ligaments:
There are 3 ligaments routinely stretched or damaged:
- The anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament
- The interosseous tibiofibular ligament
- The posterior inferior tibiofibular ligament.
High Ankle Sprain Grades:
From Shortest To Longest:
Grade 1 Sprain: Stretched Syndesmosis.
The joint is stable upon testing stress testing (performed by the physician under imaging).
- Injury should heal in a few short days or weeks.
- The athlete is likely still able to stand on the foot.
- No gross dislocation or disruptions.
Recovery Time: 3 days – 2 weeks!
- Improve this but using with rest, ice, compression & elevation!
Grade 2 Sprain: Partially Torn Syndesmosis.
This is a partial tear & injury of the ligaments.
- There may or may not be some loosening on stress testing by the podiatrist.
- An MRI may be necessary to diagnose the extent of the injury.
- The athlete may have difficult bearing weight on the ankle.
- There likely will not be widening.
Recovery Time: 2-4 weeks Minimum!
- Improve this but using with rest, ice, compression & elevation initially.
- Time off until it heals is usually necessary.
- Accommodation braces may be necessary early on until healing.
Grade 3 Sprain: Fully Torn Syndesmosis.
Complete dislocation of the talus from between the tibia and fibula.
- This is obvious and it looks very gruesome.
- It will require many months to get better.
- This will require physician treatment immediately to relocate and assess the injury.
Recovery Time: 2-3 Months+ !
- This type of ankle sprain will require a visit to your podiatrist for evaluation.
- Depending on the situation or the damage, you may need surgery to avoid future damage.
High Ankle Sprain Treatment:
Now that you know what a high ankle sprain is, it’s time to treat it!