High Ankle Sprains

A high ankle sprain occurs when the ligament, called the syndesmosis, is torn. This is a thick ligament that has several different parts holding the tibia and fibula together. The tibia and fibula are the 2 bones in the leg below the knee that sit on the top and the side of the ankle joint.

A more common inversion ankle sprain, will most likely tear of the anterior talofibular ligament and possibly the calcaneal fibular ligament. These ligaments are on the lateral side of the ankle around the fibula. Those ligaments sometimes do need to be surgically fixed and tightened if patients develop chronic lateral ankle instability.

When patients have a syndesmotic injury, the entire ankle joint can become more unstable. Because the tibia and fibula hold the talus in place, if the tibia and fibula are not closely approximated it can cause too much mobility of the talus within the ankle joint.  If this is not addressed, it will cause osteoarthritis to develop within the ankle joint more long-term.

These injuries can be treated conservatively sometimes if the tear is mild and if patients do not have to return to activities as soon as possible. They are treated conservatively by either cast immobilization or immobilizing the foot and ankle in a Cam walker boot to try to let it heal.

If patients either have a severe injury where there is a lot of gapping between the tibia and fibula, or if they are trying to return to sport as soon as possible, we typically recommend addressing this surgically. The surgical procedure to address a syndesmotic injury can be performed minimally invasive. We typically use several suture anchors to close down the gap between the tibia and fibula and sometimes place a small 2 hole plate over the fibula as well. We can also use ankle arthroscopy to ensure the ankle joint is appropriately reapproximated.

If you suffer any foot and ankle injury or pain, the expert foot and ankle surgeons at Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado are here to help you. We specialize in treating all sports medicine injuries of the foot and ankle to try to allow you to be able to return to your sport as soon as possible!  Call us at 719-488-4664, so we can help you today.

Author
Dr. Matthew Hinderland Board Certified Podiatrist and Foot and Ankle Surgeon

You Might Also Enjoy...

Welcome Dr. Fleck!

We are very excited to announce that Dr. Joseph Fleck his joined Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado!

Lateral Ankle Pain Causes and Treatments

Lateral ankle pain around the fibula is a common reason patients come in to see us. There are multiple causes of pain over the outside portion of the ankle. This article reviews the causes and treatments of this.

Foot and Ankle Sports Medicine

Sports medicine injuries occur commonly on the lower extremity. You can read this article to find out more about different injury patterns and treatment options.

What Can Be Done With Bumps On The Feet?

Bumps on the feet are pretty common and often times arise from bunions, tailor's bunions, or bone spurs developing over arthritic joints. You can read this article to find out more.

What You Should Do If You Injure Your Achilles Tendon

If you are suffering from any foot and ankle problems, call your expert Colorado Springs foot and ankle surgeons today at 719-488-4664. The team at Foot and Ankle Institute of Colorado is here to help you with all of your family's foot and ankle needs.