A High Ankle Sprain Guide to Recovery
It seems like every week you hear some top athlete has a high ankle injury. Now your son who plays football has a high ankle sprain or your daughter that plays volleyball just got diagnosed with a high ankle sprain. You’ve heard the high ankle sprain is much worse than a common low ankle sprain. But what is a high ankle sprain and how does it happen? Why are high ankle injuries so much more difficult to treat?
Where a classic low ankle injury is caused when the ankle rolls inward, a high ankle injury typically occurs when the ankle and lower leg rotates excessively outward. Unlike a classic low ankle injury, a high ankle sprain is not necessary to the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint, although this can occur, but to the tissue and ligaments that hold the lower leg bones, the tibia and fibula, together. Hence the term “high” ankle sprain because the injury is above the ankle joint. High ankle injuries are more severe and take longer to hear than low ankle injuries.
Athletes with a high ankle injury will most likely complain of pain in their lower leg. If an athlete believes they have a high ankle injury, they should cease activity immediately and get a quick evaluation by an athletic trainer or other medical professional. Since athletes with a high ankle injury are typically out twice as long as someone who suffers a classic low ankle injury, it’s important to not make the injury worse by continuing activities.
Once evaluated, the sports medicine professional will most likely prescribe the common RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) for initial care of the injury. Physical therapy will be needed to help reduce swelling and pain initially, then to regain ankle strength and range of motion. A physical therapist or athletic trainer are the best qualified medical professionals to oversee the rehabilitation process. Then you will need an ankle brace that is designed specifically to treat a high ankle injury versus a low ankle injury, meaning the brace will help restrict excessive ankle rotation that caused the high ankle injury. Most ankle braces are designed only to help restrict ankle turning which causes low ankle injuries.
There is one company that has pioneered ankle braces for high ankle injuries and that is Ultra Ankle. Ultra Ankle’s Ultra CTS ankle brace is designed to restrict excessive ankle rotation that causes high ankle injuries as well as “unload” or “offload” the ankle to help reduce weight bearing pain. A proprietary Performathane® soft outer shell uses body heat to form a custom-fit to the ankle which enhances comfort and support.
At Ultra Ankle you have total access to our Certified Athletic Trainers that help you select the appropriate Ultra Ankle brace for your ankle condition and then help you fit your new Ultra Ankle brace once it arrives. Start the conversation by sending our Certified Athletic Trainer a message.