Difference between a low ankle sprain and high ankle sprain

What is the difference between a low ankle sprain and high ankle sprain?

Ankle sprains are a very common injury in athletes and those in the workforce. The most common sprain is a low ankle sprain resulting from an inversion injury. The lateral ligaments (anterior talofibular and calcaneofibular) are the most commonly involved. An injury to the anterior tibiofibular syndesmosis is referred to as a “high ankle sprain” and is more severe requiring more time for recovery. Eversion injuries are less common but involve injury to the medial deltoid ligament. The goal of treatment is to prevent chronic pain and instability. Initially patients are treated with ice, NSAIDs, and a brace. When the patient can bear weight without increased pain (2–4 weeks), exercises are started to increase strength and prevent chronic instability.


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