High Ankle Sprain


A high ankle sprain occurs when there is an injury to the large ligament above the ankle that joins together the two bones of the lower leg. Symptoms include pain when the ankle is externally rotated (turned to the outside) or when the calf is squeezed.

How did I get this?

A high ankle sprain occurs from a twisting or rotational injury. The high ankle sprain also can occur in the setting of an ankle fracture, which means the bones of the ankle are broken.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest the leg.
  • Ice application for 20 minutes every two to three hours for minimizing inflammation.
  • Gently compress the leg, and elevate the leg with the toes higher than the nose to decrease inflammation.
  • Seek podiatry consultation.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist for possible immobilization and taping of the ankle for healing.
  • Feet and ankle surgeon for possible surgery if there is a broken bone or widening of bones involved.

When will it get better?

The recovery for high ankle sprains can take considerably longer than typical ankle sprains. It usually takes six weeks or more to return to play, but can sometimes take even longer. One good indication that you are ready to go back to sports is if you can hop on the foot 15 times. Surgery will make even more time for recovery and rehabilitation.