What is a high ankle sprain?

A sprained ankle is the stretching or tearing of ankle ligaments, which support the joint by connecting bones to each other. A sprain occurs when your ankle is forced to move out of its normal position, which can cause one or more of the ankle’s ligaments to stretch, partially tear or tear completely.

Dr. Grant Lum, MD, CCFP, Dip Sports Med, Sports Medicine Physician, discusses treatment and prevention of high ankle sprains.

Dr. Tony Taylor, MD, EMBA, Emergency Physician, discusses treatment of ankle injuries.

Dale Harris discusses orthotic options for bracing ankle injuries.

Larissa Roux, MD FRCP Dip Sport Med, MPH, PhD, discusses ankle sprains, a common sports injury.

Ankle Sprains and Orthopaedic Surgery

Sports injuries happen often in ankles and feet and there’s lots of soccer players and almost every athlete in the province at some point has sprained their ankle.

Most of the time these sprains can be treated by bracing, physiotherapy, ice and 99 percent of them get better. On occasion, they don’t get better and there’s reasons within the ankle or around the ankle that that might happen.

If you look at the ankle, there’s a number of places that can get injured after a sprain or sports injury. When the ligaments on the outside of the ankle get torn or broken, the ankle becomes unstable and these may need to be repaired.

Within the joint, however, if you have recurrent sprains, the joint surface can get damaged by the sprains and as a result, there can be holes within the cartilage that can cause a lot of discomfort.

After an ankle sprain, you can end up rupturing the tendons that are on the outside of the ankle that go between the fibula and the talus or the fibula and the calcaneus. And this can cause ongoing instability in your ankle but each time you roll your ankle, you can damage the cartilage within the ankle joint.

Sometimes these can repair, sometimes they remain unstable. The cartilage damage, however, often needs surgical treatment and the cartilage damage affects the talus either on the top side on this shoulder or on the top side on this shoulder there.

On occasion, it’s beneficial to put a scope into the joint and clean up those areas of damage so that they hopefully stop hurting you. If you have one of these holes however with an unstable ankle, it’s a good idea not only to look inside the joint with the arthroscope, but also to try and repair the ligaments on the outside of the ankle to make sure that the ankle is stable and that you don’t continue to roll it and damage the cartilage within the joint.

So with these types of injuries, you may need to talk to your physiotherapist or your coach or your family doctor to see how you can make sure that you’re getting the best treatment for your foot injury.

And on occasion, your family doctor may choose to send you onto an orthopedic surgeon who may be able to help you with an operation to try and improve the function of your foot for sport.

Presenter: Dr. Alastair Younger, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Orthopaedic Surgeon

Ankle and Lower Leg Bracing and Injuries

If you’ve got a fracture in your foot, or your lower leg, you have to determine what type of walker boot you need.

If you’ve got a fracture that’s in the forefoot, be it fifth metatarsal fracture, a stress fracture, maybe a bunion surgery recovery, the ankle walkers are a great product for this.

There’s a variety of different models that are available. We really like this one because it’s got a nice rocker profile on the bottom, three straps, and a nice wide base for support.

If you’ve got a lower leg fracture or a rear foot fracture, malleolar fracture, talus fracture, one of the things you want to look for is a longer boot that offers more support through the rear foot or leg, with the three straps on the front, again a nice wide base on the bottom and a great rocker profile.

When you’re ready to try on a walker boot, it’s really important to try some different ones on, they range in price quite dramatically, go to an experienced store and let them help determine what type of walker boot.

Presenter: Mr. Dale Harris, Bracing & Equipment Specialist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Bracing & Equipment Specialist

Local Orthopedic Surgeon

Anneliese Ruggeri

Anneliese Ruggeri

Physiotherapist
Middlebury, CT
Mr. Trevor Kwolek

Mr. Trevor Kwolek

Physiotherapist
Fonthill, ON
Chritine Bridle

Chritine Bridle

FCAMPT, CAFCI
Physiotherapist
St Catherines, ON
Paul Skiba

Paul Skiba

B.Kin. (Hons.), RKin, RHN, CEP
Physiotherapist
St. Catharines, ON

Orthopedics Now

Orthopedics Now

QA Chat
Ask us a health question on
diagnosis/treatment options...