High Ankle Sprain (Syndesmosis Ligament Injury)

Overview

This condition is a sprain of one or more of the ligaments that hold the tibia and fibula together at the ankle. This joint, called the ankle syndesmosis, is made up of ligaments on the front and rear of the ankle, and in the space between the tibia and fibula.

Causes

The syndesmotic ligament may be injured by a sharp, outward twisting of the foot and ankle. This can stretch the ligament, cause tears and, in severe cases, rupture. This injury often occurs in athletes involved in sports such as football, basketball and soccer.

Symptoms

Symptoms can include pain when rotating the ankle, inability to walk, swelling, redness, and bruising.

Treatment

Treatment options include use of a cast, splint or brace, rest, cold compress, elevating the foot, and therapy. Severe cases where the tibia or fibula are displaced may require surgery.



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