How do I know if I have high ankle sprain?
High ankle sprains are usually more severe than normal ankle injuries, and are often accompanied by swelling and pain, not only on the outside of the ankle joint but also over the front at the end of your tibia and fibula (lower leg bones). Often walking may be more painful at the bottom of your leg and top of the ankle, as weight-bearing causes the syndesmosis to separate slightly because of the ligament injury.
Your physiotherapist will be able to diagnose a high ankle sprain, and will ask you about how the injury happened. Often this condition is missed as people presume the injury was just a normal ankle sprain, and if you delay seeing your physiotherapist, it will be important to discuss how the sprain has changed since injury. They will look at your ability to walk, stand on one foot and do simple exercises such as a calf raise. It will also be important to do specific tests for the high ankle ligaments. If you are unable to walk because of the injury, or if your physiotherapist suspects it is a more serious injury, you may be referred for an X-ray or MRI for further assessment.