High Ankle Sprain Recovery Time: The Best Treatment Guide 2020

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!


High ankle sprain healing time
A high ankle sprain can take up to 6-8 weeks to start feeling completely better. Make sure you use a good supportive brace for your sprained foot & ankle.


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.


High Ankle Sprain Syndesmosis tear recovery time
The high ankle sprain syndesmosis tear is the ligaments above your ankle. This is called the AITFL: this is a mouthful, it is your anterior inferior talofibular ligament. if this is torn your fibula and tibia can come apart and gaps slightly.


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 Grades:

High Ankle Sprain Tendons & Ligaments:

There are 3 ligaments routinely stretched or damaged:

  1. The anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament
  2. The interosseous tibiofibular ligament
  3. The posterior inferior tibiofibular ligament.

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!

The Twisted Ankle Treatment Guide.



The best ability ankle sprain braces:

  • In the first week or two after ankle sprain, you want to stabilize it is much as possible.
  • These are the best reviewed and the most cost-effective braces we could find.


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The best ankle sprain compression braces:

  • After your initial pain goes away in the first 2 to 6 weeks, want to wear a long-term compression brace.
  • These are not stable as the above stability braces. But they will provide compression and are more comfortable and normal shoes.
  • These are the best reviewed and best price braces we could find for you!


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Low Ankle Sprain Treatment:

If you think that you have a regular ankle sprain, and not high ankle sprain, then watch the following video:


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