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High Ankle Sprain

High ankle sprains involve ligaments that attach above the ankle joint, hence the name.
High ankle sprains involve ligaments that attach above the ankle joint, hence the name.


High ankle sprains are much less common than a traditional ankle sprain, and involve tearing or damage to the high ankle ligaments (in red above).

How do the high ankle ligaments become damaged?

Unlike traditional ankle sprains where landing on the outside of the foot or ‘rolling over’ your ankle are common ways for an injury to occur, a high ankle sprain are due to rotational injuries.

Impact sports, in particular, may place your foot in an externally-rotated position (i.e. your foot is pointed outwards with respect to your leg, when the injury occurs).

Signs and symptoms of high ankle sprains

Following a traumatic ankle injury, patients may report the following symptoms:

  • pain above the ankle
  • pain increases with external rotation of the foot
  • pain with walking
  • significant bruising and swelling above the ankle joint

In some more severe cases, fractures may occur as well. It is important that you seek advice from a healthcare professional after a traumatic injury to your ankle.

Physiotherapy assessment and management strategies

Physiotherapists can help treat your high ankle sprains and get you back to your normal life. With careful assessment and differential diagnoses of your condition, physiotherapists can determine the severity of your injury and provide some treatments. Some of these management strategies include:

  • Advice and education
  • Pain relief, injury protection
  • Gaining range of motion of your ankle and foot
  • Strengthening muscles of your leg and foot
  • Regaining balance
  • Improving proprioception (your body’s awareness and knowledge of where your foot is positioned in space)
  • Getting back to normal function
  • Higher level functions (running, jumping, agility, sport-specific)

Our physiotherapists can assist with an accurate diagnosis of your condition and help manage your condition.

Contact us on via phone on 1800 800 118 or email us to [email protected] to book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists today!

Imagine a life free from aches and pain!



Aofas.org. (2017). High Ankle Sprain. [online] Available at: http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/conditions/ailments-of-the-ankle/Pages/High-Ankle-Sprain.aspx [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

Physioworks.com.au. (2017). High Ankle Sprain. [online] Available at: http://physioworks.com.au/injuries-conditions-1/high-ankle-sprain [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

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