Syndesmotic or high ankle sprains occur with injury to the ligaments that connect the tibia and
fibula. This is the area above the ankle. Syndesmotic sprains are not as common as traditional
sprains, and accurate diagnosis is critical. If you suspect a high ankle sprain, call our board certified- Smyrna podiatrist. We specialize in diagnosis and treatment of all conditions of the foot and ankle.
Symptoms of Syndesmotic Sprains
High ankle sprains are common during contact sports, such as football, where twisting injuries
cause the foot to turn beyond the normal range of motion. In most cases these sprains happen
with ankle fracture. Symptoms will vary with the degree of injury:
- First degree injury symptoms include pain with ankle movement. The RICE
(Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) protocol can be helpful here.
- Second degree injury symptoms include pain with ankle movement, swelling of
the affected area and difficulty walking.
- Third degree injuries are most severe. Symptoms include extreme pain and
inability to place any weight or walk on the affected area. Surgery is indicated.
Outcomes are improved with early intervention.
Diagnosis of Syndesmotic Sprains
Our Atlanta podiatrist will talk with you to learn about your health history and activities leading
up to the injury. A visual exam and squeeze test (manipulation of area just above the knee) will
help us determine if pain radiates to the high ankle area. An external rotation test can also yield
useful information. Our Smyrna podiatrist will be looking again be looking for pain in the high
ankle ligament area.
Treatment of Syndesmotic Sprains
The tibia and fibula must be repositioned and allowed to remain in place to encourage healing. A
removable walking boot and therapy to strengthen the tendons can be effective with mild to
moderate injuries High ankle sprains typically require more recovery time than traditional
sprains. In most cases you can expect to resume normal activities in about 6 or 7 weeks. More
severe injuries will require surgery. Casting, and eventually a removable boot, support healing
post-surgery; physical therapy is a critical part of the recovery plan. Physical therapy will help to
reduce stiffness in the ankle going forward from injury. Recovery can extend to three months.
Ankle injuries should be treated with care. Trust our Atlanta podiatrist to understand and
properly diagnose your symptoms for the best treatment outcomes. Don’t ignore your injury.
Give us a call to schedule your appointment today.