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Navigating High Ankle Sprains: Road to Recovery

If you have recently experienced a twist, a fall, or a sudden turn that left your ankle feeling tender and swollen, you might be dealing with a high ankle sprain.

This type of injury involves damage to the ligaments connecting the two lower leg bones, called the tibia and fibula. We are here to guide you through the management and recovery process, so you can get back on your feet with confidence.

Understanding High Ankle Sprains: High ankle sprains, also known as syndesmotic injuries, occur when the ligaments connecting the tibia and fibula are stretched or torn. Unlike typical ankle sprains, which affect the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, high ankle sprains involve the syndesmosis, a fibrous joint between the two bones above the ankle joint.

Symptoms to Watch For:

- Pain and tenderness above the ankle

- Swelling and bruising

- Difficulty bearing weight or walking

- Instability or feeling of "giving way" in the ankle

Diagnosis. This injury is often accompanied by fractures and other significant ligament injuries. X-rays and frequently MRI are usually required to determine the full extent of the injury.

Road to Recovery: Recovering from a high ankle sprain requires patience and dedication. Initially, it's essential to rest, ice, compress, and elevate (RICE) the affected ankle to reduce pain and swelling. Your healthcare provider may recommend using crutches to offload weight from the injured ankle and wearing a brace or a supportive boot to stabilize the joint. Surgery is essential in more severe injuries, and delaying surgery can result in damage to the ankle joint.

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation: Once the acute pain and swelling subside, physical therapy plays a crucial role in restoring strength, flexibility, and stability to the ankle. Your Physiotherapist will design a personalized rehabilitation program consisting of exercises to improve range of motion, strengthen muscles around the ankle, and enhance proprioception (awareness of joint position). Recovery from surgery if required can take over 6 months, and may require several weeks in a boot and require the use of crutches.

Preventing Future Injuries: To reduce the risk of recurring high ankle sprains, it is important to gradually return to activities and sports, ensuring proper warm-up, stretching, and conditioning. Wearing supportive footwear and using ankle braces or tape during high-impact activities can also provide added protection.

Closing Thoughts: Recovering from a high ankle sprain takes time and commitment, but with proper treatment and rehabilitation, you can regain mobility and return to your favourite activities. Remember to follow your healthcare provider's guidance and listen to your body throughout the healing process. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to us.



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