One of the most unique ankle injuries that occur in contact sport is a syndesmotic (high) ankle sprain due to the damage that occurs and the recovery time needed to get back. A recent study suggests that high ankle sprains occur in 11%-17% of ankle injuries in most contact sports. This type of ankle sprain has a longer recovery time; on average ranging from 5 to 56 days, up to 137 days.
High ankle sprains are caused by an athlete taking a hit to the outside of the lower leg with the foot planted in an outwardly rotated position while falling backwards from the weight of the blow. The second common cause occurs when an athlete is on the ground with their ankle in an outwardly rotated position and another athlete strikes the lower leg, along with the heel of the foot, forcing it to further rotate outwards.
This type of injury causes significant amount of damage to the ankle. The ligaments that stabilize the bones of the lower leg where the ankle meets (AITF, PITF and IOM) are damaged. This is done by the spreading apart of the two lower leg bones by the rotation of the talus bone located in the ankle joint. The severity of a high ankle sprain increases when the surrounding structures of the ankle, the outside ligaments (ATF, CF, PTF) or inside ligaments (deltoids) are sprained as well. The recovery process after a high ankle sprain varies by severity and studies have suggested it can take 6 to 8 weeks for recovery.
Zamst A2-DX ankle brace will help prevent the severity and support the recovery of a high ankle sprain. The unique rigid guards help stabilize, compress, and support the ligaments of the lower leg, where the ankle meets. In addition, helps restrict inward and outward rotation of the ankle.
With ankles sprains being the most common injury in all sports, it is important to protect yourself and learn about them. Being informed about high ankle sprains, allows athletes to understand the rehab process and increase their chances for a quicker recovery which allows them back to playing.
Richard A. Martinez, M.A., A.T.C