Just What is a "High Ankle Sprain"

If you're a sports lover like myself, you're hearing more and more that athletes are out with a "high ankle sprain." You especially hear about this in basketball and football where you have lots of feet being planted on the ground and pivoting. So what's the difference between a high ankle sprain and your average, run of the mill ankle sprain?

A traditional ankle sprain, or twisted ankle, most commonly involves damage to the ligaments that connect the bones in the legs, the tibia and fibula, to the bones in the foot. This type of injury will cause swelling on the outside of the ankle, and often bruising will be seen. The best initial treatment for this is applying the "RICE" principle: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Taking anti-inflammatory medication can also help. If the pain is not significantly better in the first 24-36 hours, you should visit your podiatrist.

A high ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments that connect the two bones in the legs, the tibia and fibula. They're called "high" ankle sprains because the injury occurs above the ankle level in the lower leg. These injuries are tougher to diagnose because the symptoms are usually more dull than their more traditional components and present with little or no swelling. Treatment for a high ankle sprain also includes the "RICE" principle. If the pain does not improve quickly, visit your podiatrist. Some sports figures who have had high ankle sprains include Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys, and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks.

For those who habitually sprain their ankles, exercising with an ankle brace is important. The more one sprains the ankle, the easier and more likely future sprains are to occur. A wide array of ankle braces and supports can be found in our store.

For more information, visit our website.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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