In the U.S. an estimated 25,000 ankle injuries occur each day, so you are probably no stranger to having a sprained ankle or seeing someone else sprain their ankle. Generally speaking, there are two types of ankle sprains that are diagnosed depending on where the injury is located on the ankle – the low ankle sprain and the high ankle sprain.


This is the classic ankle injury where the ankle rolls inward stretching the ligaments that connect the bones in the ankle joint. Medically this is called an inversion ankle sprain. 80% of all ankle injuries are inversion related. The alternative to an inversion sprain would be when the ankle rolls outward, again stretching the ligaments that connect the bones in the ankle joint resulting in an eversion ankle sprain.

Low Ankle Injury Brace Recommendations By Situation

  • Help prevent ankle injuries – Ultra Zoom
  • Help recover from mild to moderate ankle sprains – Ultra Zoom
  • Treat chronic ankle instability and it’s resulting injuries – Ultra High-5

Additional Resources


High ankle injuries occur when the foot/ankle externally rotate, stretching the tissue holding the two lower leg bones (tibia & fibula) together. This injury occurs above the ankle joint, thus the name high ankle injury. An athlete with a high ankle injury will have more pain and a longer rehabilitation period when compared to a low ankle injury. Medically this injury is called a syndesmotic’ ankle injury.

High Ankle Injury Brace Recommendations By Situation

  • Wearing a Brace After an Acute Injury – Ultra CTS
  • Transitioning out of a Walking Boot to an Ankle Brace – Ultra CTS
  • Return to Activity After a High Ankle Sprain – Ultra High-5

Additional Resources

Recovering from an Ankle Injury

Depending on the type and severity of the sprain you get, there are a variety of treatment options available to help you return to activity as quickly and safely as possible. Before returning to play or beginning any rehabilitation on your injured ankle, it’s important for you to consult your medical professional to receive a treatment plan that is specific to your injury.

After you’ve healed, your doctor may continue to prescribe an icing regimen, rehab exercises, and the use of an ankle brace to aide your treatment.

With each ankle sprain, the ligaments in your ankle joint become more and more loose, making the odds of a re-sprain occurring as high as 70%. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that strength/balance exercises are completed as well as wearing a preventative ankle brace to help prevent or reduce the severity of future ankle injuries if, and when, they occur.

If you’re not sure which ankle brace would be most helpful for your situation, send one of our athletic trainers a message and we’d be happy to talk through it with you!

2 responses to “The Difference Between High & Low Ankle Sprains”

  1. Deborah Duerr says:

    Six years ago I had a severe ankle sprain, took a year to recover. December last year caught my toe in a root, 5th metatarsal break. Eight weeks walking boot. March 5 fell, twisted same ankle, lateral break of ankle bone on outside of foot. Six weeks non weight bearing cast, now a lace up strap brace but can’t get a shoe on except for croc. do you have suggestions for now, and then when I can resume activity and feel I need more support? I do yoga, walk 6 miles/day and play golf when I can resume.

    • ultraankle says:


      Thanks for reaching out to Ultra Ankle. We really appreciate it.

      Yes, you are going to need support and stabilization for your multi-injury ankle. Since you want to walk long distances and play golf I would recommend our Ultra Zoom ankle brace: The Ultra Zoom has a flexible shell that uses body heat to form-fit to the ankle for comfortable long-lasting ankle support. The hinge design allows for natural ankle range of motion you will need to regain your calf flexibility and keep the muscles strong. I do want to mention that if you are having trouble fitting a fabric lace-up ankle brace in your shoe, you will have trouble fitting any ankle brace in your shoe. Ankle braces take up space and the smaller the shoe size the more challenging it is to fit the brace in the shoe. However, we fit young female athletes with the Ultra Zoom ankle brace and the smallest shoe size we can fit is a size 7. Golf shoes are a little more challenging because they have a small amount of laces you can loosen in order to fit the brace in the shoe, but we do have golfers wear the Ultra Zoom with no problem. What is your shoe size? The most important thing to keep in mind when wearing an ankle brace with a shoe is that you might have to loosen the laces all the way down significantly before putting on your shoe, and then re-tighten once it’s on your foot.

      Here is a link to the Ultra Zoom fitting video:

      I imagine with all the time you spent in a boot and the cast your ankle and calf are pretty stiff and in need of some stretching. One thing I would recommend for you is a “slant board” which will help you regain your calf flexibility. You can purchase slant boards on Amazon. The wooden ones are the best.

      Please look over the product information and send me an email if you have any other questions. Good luck Deborah.
      Rick Peters ATC
      [email protected]

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Ultra Zoom

Help prevent ankle injuries all season long.

Ultra High-5

Reinforce the ankle after a history of multiple ankle injuries

Ultra CTS

Maximize stabilization to treat acute ankle injuries