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.

Dr. Fui Dawson
Podiatrist in Marietta, GA, Dr. Fui Dawson, is a Harvard trained Foot & Ankle Specialist treating patients in Marietta, GA and in the surrounding communities. Our clinic, Advanced Foot and Ankle Institute of Georgia, offers treatment for all foot and ankle conditions.
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